A sale of prints enlivened with strange, dark, fantastical creatures.
Odilon Redon (1840-1916), À Edgar Poe, 1882, complete set of six plates in an illustrated folder, edition of 50.
The 200-odd prints produced by Odilon Redon (1840-1916) are some of the most beautiful of his period, particularly his "noirs" (black drawings), as he called them. Two rare sets of noirs were a great success at Thursday's sale, when Les Origines of 1883 fetched €89,600 and À Edgar Poe (1882) €97,280. "These two sets are particularly interesting as they came from the family of the musician and composer Ernest Chausson, a friend of Redon's," according to Hélène Bonafous-Murat. They explore the whole inner world of this extraordinary artist nourished by Symbolist literature, an admiration for Delacroix and the theories of Darwin. A series of cells, flying heads, smiling monsters, chrysalids, serpents, Cyclops and spheres in the form of eyes move through them in mutual harmony beneath the black sun of melancholy. The two-day sale made a final total of €873,353.