Odilon Redon, A Painter Full Of Melancholy

Odilon Redon (1840-1916) was born in Bordeaux (France). Actually, his name is Bertrand-Jean Redon. Odilon is a nickname derived from the name of his mother who was Odile.
His father was an adventurer that had made a fortune. When Odilon was a child, he had many health problems so they send him to live in the house of his uncle, in the country.

Redon was always a dreamer and introverted being. Since he was very young, he felt a great interest for art, which allowed him to express his inner life.

The dream of his father was that Redon become an architect, but that never happened. Although sculpture was one of his first passions, he felt very early on a closeness to painting. One of the artist that did a greater influence over him was the watercolor painter Stanislas Gorin, that was his master.

Redon admired Delacroix, Millet, Corot, and the symbolist Gustave Moreau. They all influenced his art.

One of the best friends of Odilon was the biologist Armand Clavaud, who transmitted him the interest for writers like Flaubert, Baudelaire, and Poe. Clavaud was fascinated by the microscopic beings and the frontiers between the animal and vegetable world. This was reflected in the artworks of Redon, where he sometimes paints hybrid characters, and strange creatures that emerged from his imagination and the long conversations with his friend.

Redon was a free, inspirational painter. The inflexibility of Paris' School of Fine Arts was a hell for him.

Another big influence for Redon was the drawer and etcher Rodolphe Bresdin. Bresdin was an imaginative artist that captivated Redon.

The paintings of Redon had several stages: from the lithographies and the drawings with pen and carbons to the colorful watercolors. The darker stage of Roden was in a bad moment of his life, when his sister died and as well as his first son (before reaching one year old). The birth of his second son was an optimistic and colorful stage.

After that, came the flower paintings, and the symbolists, the mythological, and religious stages.

His artworks were always in perpetual change. His art is deeply inspired, and his paintings are surrounded by an halo of transcendence and depth. It doesn't matters whatever stage he was in, or whatever he painted, the common point in all his artwork was his deep melancholy.

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

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david santos said...

Hi Emma Alvarez
A beautiful place here!
Excellent post! You are Master.
Thank you.
have a good day

Emma Alvarez said...

Thank you very much David.

Noelevz said...

A very talented Artist indeed! Great post! :)

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