When Redon was working on this lithograph, he discovered a flaw in the stone and started over. He reused rather than discarding the original stone for The Druidess, another print.
Like many artists of the time, Odilon Redon drew inspiration from 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner and explored his music throughout various media. Here, Redon depicted Parsifal, the heroic knight after whom Wagner titled an 1882 opera centered on a search for the Holy Grail. The print’s murky tones combine with Parsifal’s vacant stare to create an aura of mystery. The print was the first given to the museum by Ralph King, a founding trustee and a Redon enthusiast known among New York City gallerists in the 1920s for his tendency to purchase their entire inventories of the artist’s work.
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