Charcoal with fabricated black chalk and touches of white and gray gouache on gray wove paper
Sheet: 36.8 x 32.9 cm (14 1/2 x 12 15/16 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 2020.63
Catalogue raisonné: Wildenstein 2639
Victor Hugo, the author who inspired this drawing’s subject, also made drawings with black materials inspired by his own imagination, much like Redon’s own work.
The nineteenth-century French artist Odilon Redon was known for works defined by their darkness—both the black materials he used and the mood of his fantastical themes. This drawing depicts Quasimodo, the protagonist of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but does not directly relate to the text. Redon layered and rubbed away charcoal marks to create the indeterminate space behind the pair.
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