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Odilon Redon 1840-1916
The night
Album of six lithographs printed on chine collé, 1886
Bequeathed by Campbell Dodgson 1949

Published in an edition of fifty sets with lyrical captions written by Redon himself and sold through the publisher Laurent Dumont, whose label is attached to the titlepage. La nuit (The night) was published the year after Redon's Hommage à Goya (Homage to Goya) album. The idea of night was ideally suited to Redon's ability to create fantastic forms and atmosphere with his luminous handling of lithographic ink. He shared the Symbolist aim of creating, as in music, 'an ambiguous world of the indeterminate', and in this album he presents glimpses or apparitions of the mysterious nocturnal activities of different beings, linking them through his captions. This plate shows the mythical Chimera, which Redon depicted many times. In Greek myth it had the head of a lion, body of a goat and a serpent's tail, but Redon imagines it as a more suggestive mixture of various creatures. His caption reads: 'The Chimera gazed at all things with fear'.

P.201-1951


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The Fitzwilliam Museum : Highlights

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