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J'ai quelquefois aperçu dans le ciel comme des formes d'esprits
(I have sometimes seen in the sky what seemed like forms of spirits)

Plate 21 of 24

Redon turned to Saint Anthony's encounter with the Sphinx and the Chimera once more. It is markedly different from the version in the second series, Le Sphinx: mon regard, in which the Sphinx and the Chimera's defined forms oppose each other. Here Redon shows them appearing in the sky above the Nile. The dense blackness of the sky takes precedence and the forms can only be glimpsed. The strange beings catching the light in the foreground increase the sense of mystery, suggesting that other forms may be lurking in the shadows. Redon wrote: 'Black should be respected ... It is the agent of the spirit.'


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