Research and Reflection – Odion Redon

Two Trees (charcoal on paper) image from [as on 9th Oct 2014]

Research point

Look carefully at the image below. Note the artist’s expressive use of tone – blocks of dark charcoal in sharp contrast to expanses of light, and then the smaller details, lines and spots that pull the image together as an ambient scene. Try to find further work by the artist and discuss the atmospheric potential of tone in your log.

Note, I obtained these images from other publicly available websites instead of directly from Bridgeman, so that I can incorporate them here.

Odion Redon was a Symbolist painter and printmaker.   Redon described his work as ambiguous and undefinable:  “My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined.”


The “Two Trees” and  the “Lovers in Rocky Landscape” truly fit in that description.  Individual parts of the drawings are realistically and believable items yet the whole construct was an unknown dream-like scene.

I think his ability to draw representational scenes accurately contributed to his success of depicting a dreamy mystic landscape.

below are some pages from his sketchbook.

Pages from sketchbooks images from [as on 9th Oct 204]


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