Pond in les Landes (Primary Title)

Odilon Redon, French, 1840 - 1916 (Artist)

ca. 1880
Works On Paper
oil on paper on panel
Framed: 17 3/4 × 20 3/4 in. (45.09 × 52.71 cm)
Other (sight): 12 1/2 × 15 1/2 in. (31.75 × 39.37 cm)

Redon was born in Bordeaux, but because of health problems, he grew up under the care of his uncle in the region of Médoc in southwestern France. Although he moved to Paris to pursue a career as an artist, he returned home every summer. As early as 1868, landscape emerged as an essential genre within Redon's elaboration of his unique Symbolist aesthetic. One of his artistic goals was to “to frame a sentiment in a landscape” by subsuming descriptive images within the emotionally expressive aspects of his painting.

This painting demonstrates the kind of lyricism that Redon's poetic imagination elicited from his surroundings. As a solitary child living on his family's winemaking estate in nearby Peyrelebade, he delighted in watching the fleeting variations of cloud pass over in their "magical brightness." The sun-tinged clouds that enliven the vast blue sky over the marshy region in this scene recall something of this enchantment, but their beauty is ambivalent. They appear nostalgic but also as a reminder of the temporal quality of all happy moments. When Redon exhibited at the final Impressionist Exhibition in 1886, his work announced a shift in tendency among many modern artists from capturing the fleeting effects of nature toward an affirmation of subjective vision.

Signed, lower left: "ODILON REDON": and lower right corner: "ODILON REDON"
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
2019-2020: "Van Gogh Monet Degas, The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", Palazzo Zabarella, Padua, Italy, October 26, 2019 - March 1, 2020

2019-2021: Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, February 2 - May 5, 2019; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS, April 4, 2020 - January 10, 2021

2018-2019: "Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", The Frick Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, March 17 - July 15, 2018; Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, June 22 - September 22, 2019
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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