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Blending of the senses

Odilon Redon was a painter, lithographer, draughtsman and pastellist, besides being a writer and critic. He was already admired in his own time for the entirely unique way in which he managed to combine the expressive power of literature, music and visual art. More than anyone, he gave expression to the idea of synaesthesia, the blending of the different senses, which was very popular in the 19th century

Themes in the exhibition

The first part of the exhibition shows how Redon represented abstract notions such as inspiration, for instance by using the motif of the winged horse Pegasus as a symbol of artistic creativity. The second part discusses Redon’s role as an illustrator and writer: the illustrations he produced for texts by his favourite writers, such as Gustave Flaubert, Stéphane Mallarmé and Emile Verhaeren and the series of lithographs in which Redon was both narrator and illustrator. Finally, the exhibition examines themes that Redon derived from music, particularly from the compositions of Richard Wagner and mediaeval and classical drama.

Selection from the museum’s ample collection and works on loan

About half the works in the exhibition – paintings and works on paper – are from the museum’s own ample Redon collection. The rest of the works are on loan.

The exhibition will also be on show at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Copenhagen), from 11 October 2018 until 20 January 2019.

Images: Odilon Redon, La liseuse, 1895-1900, private collection, Tête de martyr, 1877