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Dans l'ombre, des gens pleurent et prient entourés d'autres qui les exhortent
(In the shadow people are weeping and praying, surrounded by others who are exhorting them)

Plate 6 of 24

Redon imagined this scene as though looking through Saint Anthony's eyes observing his prison. Redon had always been drawn to the theme of imprisonment and captivity, and it corresponded to the sombre imagery of the early noirs. Perhaps this is why he chose a simple scene and produced a relatively straight-forward representation. The window which breaks up the oppressive darkness of the wall, is, however, used to full symbolic effect. The light at the window symbolises the freedom and joy of the outside world, as opposed to the torments suffered by the captives. This light is, however, as distant and unreachable as the sun that L'Ange perdu gazes at. When drawing on the transfer paper, Redon put grainy backing paper behind it to create the textured half-light in which the figures are barely distinguishable from the setting. Textured backing is visible in other prints, such as Une longue chrysalide from the À Gustave Flaubert ablum. It is markedly different from the smooth, flowing black of the interior of Et partout ce sont des Colonnes de basalte, from this album.

P.319-1949

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The Fitzwilliam Museum : La Tentation de Saint-Antoine

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