Odilon Redon (French, 18401916)
Lithograph; Image: 8 1/4 x 6 1/8 in. (21 x 15.6 cm); sheet: 17 5/8 x 12 7/16 in. (44.8 x 31.6 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1920 (20.30.6)
As a shy and lonely boy in his uncle's remote old house, Redon discovered that books, pictures, and music opened windows onto marvelous vistas. From his childhood on, he maintained an attachment to a world of fantasy and dreams that he often pictured in charcoal drawings and lithographs he called noirs, for both their essential substance and resonance were black. "One must respect black," he wrote. "Nothing prostitutes it. It does not please the eye and it awakens no sensuality. It is the agent of the mind far more than the most beautiful color to the palette or prism."