Je suis toujours la grande Isis! Nul n'a encore soulevé mon voile! Mon fruit est le soleil!
(I am still the great Isis! None has yet lifted my veil! My fruit is the Sun!)
Plate 16 of 24
Here light is a source of power and vitality. Isis, the Egyptian goddess of motherhood and fertility is depicted holding her son, Horus. A creature is crouching in the lower right corner. According to the text, this is Cynocephalos, the dog-headed baboon from Egyptian mythology. Flaubert uses it to symbolise death, and its black colour enhances this, together with its association with the jackal-headed god, Anubis. In Flaubert's text Isis is shrouded in a long, black veil, but in Redon's interpretation she seems to be engulfed by a mysterious black cloud or smoke, which obliterates her face and contrasts with the piercing white light on the left. Redon has signed the print in graphite in this area of light. Each of the prints displayed here from the third album is signed in graphite. Redon may have done this to give a sense of uniqueness and originality as he developed the credibility of the fine art print. This print was exhibited on its own in the Salon des Cents, organised by the avant-garde journal La Plume in April 1896.