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Orpheus

Orpheus

c. 1903-1910

Odilon Redon

(French, 1840-1916)

Pastel

Sheet: 68.8 x 56.8 cm (27 1/16 x 22 3/8 in.)

Gift from J. H. Wade 1926.25

Description

Redon’s oeuvre can be roughly divided into two sections: the black works of his early career—when he used charcoal and lithography—and the colored works of his mature period—when, prompted by a yearning for color, he transitioned to pastel and oil painting. As a drawing material, pastel is similar to charcoal; both are capable of rendering sharp lines and dense forms, as well as diffused edges and powdery evanescence. Here, Redon utilized the velvety tones of pastel to create an image of hypnotic suggestiveness. The head of the poet and musician Orpheus floats on his lyre down the River Hebrus, while a glittering Mount Parnassus—the home of Apollo and the Muses—soars heavenward.

See also
Collection: 
DR - French
Department: 
Drawings
Type of artwork: 
Drawing
Medium: 
Pastel
Credit line: 
Gift from J. H. Wade

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