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Odilon Redon | Butterflies, 1910

Before 1900 Odilon Redon made drawings almost exclusively in black and white; afterward he began to focus on paintings and pastels in sensuous color.
Many of his late works in color took nature’s small beauties, such as butterflies, seashells and flowers, as objects of contemplation and presented them with a fantastic intensity.
Redon was a Symbolist; he believed that art could transcend the everyday and open onto a marvelous world of the mind.

Around 1905 he spoke of the painter’s task as a privileged one:
Painting consists in using a special sense, an innate sense for composing a beautiful substance.
To do as nature does: create diamonds, gold, sapphires, agates, precious metal, silk, flesh: it is a gift of delicious sensuality”. | © MoMa The Museum of Modern Art