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Support: China paper
Image: 31.2 x 22.4 cm (12 5/16 x 8 13/16 in.)
Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1927.477.9
Catalogue raisonné: Mellerio 91
Edition: edition of 60 (58 printed)
This portfolio is one of three made by Odilon Redon inspired by avant-garde writer Gustave Flaubert’s novel The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1874). Captivated by the book’s fantastical account of moralizing tests encountered by a hermit in the desert, Redon executed charcoal drawings and attempted to evoke that medium’s dense blackness in his lithographs. Based on the text’s darkly imaginative tone rather than its actual content, the works in this series present invented monsters and figures in otherworldly settings with jarring tonal variations. Although Redon felt that the prints effectively translated the surreal universe of his source material, they were largely misunderstood in his own time.
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