REDON, Odilon
(b. 1840, Bordeaux, d. 1916, Paris)


French printmaker, draughtsman and painter. He spent his childhood at Peyrelebade, his father's estate in the Limousin region. Peyrelebade became a basic source of inspiration for all his art, providing him with both subjects from nature and a stimulus for his fantasies, and Redon returned there constantly until its enforced sale in 1897.

He received his education in Bordeaux from 1851, rapidly showing talent in many art forms: he studied drawing with Stanislas Gorin (?1824-?1874) from 1855; in 1857 he attempted unsuccessfully to become an architect; and he also became an accomplished violinist. He developed a keen interest in contemporary literature, partly through the influence of Armand Clavaud, a botanist and thinker who became his friend and intellectual mentor.

He learned lithography under Henri Fantin-Latour. He came to be associated with the Symbolist painters. His oils and pastels, chiefly still-lifes with flowers, won him admiration as a colourist from Henri Matisse and other painters. His prints (nearly 200 in all), which explore fantastic, often macabre themes, foreshadowed Surrealism and Dada.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.