Odilon Redon Flower Print

Who Was Odilon Redon?

 Some of the most colourful exhibition posters we’ve designed feature the work of Odilon Redon (1840-1916). You'll see them all on this page. But who was this somewhat mystical, semi-legendary artist – and why is his art so appealing?

Odilon Redon Large Vase With Flowers Exhibition Poster

He was born Bertrand Redon (the ‘Odilon’ he later adopted came from his mother’s name Odile) in Bordeaux, France in 1840, and from a young age, he was interested in art. He studied drawing and painting at a local school, and by the age of 20, he had moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. However, he quickly became disillusioned with the traditional academic approach to art, and instead turned to the Symbolist movement for inspiration 


Odilon Redon Exhibition Poster


The Symbolists, headed by artists like Gustave Moreau and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, sought to explore the inner, emotional world of the artist, rather than simply depicting the external world. This idea was reflected in Redon's work, which often featured fantastical, dream-like imagery that was heavily influenced by his own personal experiences and emotions.


Odilon Redon Art Print


Redon’s use of symbolism was also heavily influenced by the art and ideas of Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as the art of Japan. Many of the symbols and motifs found in Eastern spiritual traditions, such as mandalas, lotus flowers, and the Buddha, can be seen in his work. These symbols were often used to represent the inner, spiritual world of the artist, and to explore the idea of the transcendence of the physical world.

The art of Japan was important to Redon too, particularly the ukiyo-e woodblock prints. These prints were known for their bold use of color and striking compositions, and he was particularly inspired by the work of the Japanese artist Hokusai, who is known for his iconic "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" print.

Redon was also influenced by Zen Buddhism, which emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and the present moment. This idea can be seen in Redon's art, which often focuses on capturing a sense of the present moment and exploring the inner, emotional world of the artist.


Odilon Redon Flower Print


One more significant aspect of Redon’s work was his extensive use of pastels. He began experimenting with pastels in the late 1870s and quickly became one of the leading exponents of the medium. He used pastels to create a wide variety of works, from portraits and landscapes to abstract and symbolic compositions. Redon's pastels are characterized by their delicate and ethereal quality, which he achieved through the use of soft and nuanced colors. He also employed a variety of techniques, such as layering and blending, to create depth and texture in his pastels. He was particularly interested in the psychological and symbolic potential of color, and used pastels to explore the unconscious mind and the inner workings of the human psyche.

We believe Redon’s work brings beauty and wonder to any room, so why not check out our range of Odilon Redon exhibition posters today.

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