French Symbolist artist Odilon Redon created “Beatrice” in 1897 as a color lithograph on chine collé. The artwork depicts Beatrice, a prominent figure in Dante’s “Divina Commedia,” who guides the poet through paradise. This subject was a recurring motif for Redon, who frequently depicted her in his art.
Redon’s art was heavily influenced by nature and flirted with abstraction, which can be seen in “Beatrice.” The colors and forms used create an otherworldly, dreamlike atmosphere that reflects the mystical quality of Dante’s work. Redon began his career working in charcoal and lithography before transitioning to pastels and oils in the 1890s, which allowed for greater experimentation with color.
“Beatrice” is part of the Stickney Collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Redon was a prominent figure of Symbolism in French art during the late 19th and early 20th century. His interest in Japanese art also influenced his style, particularly evident in his use of flattened forms and bold outlines.
In summary, “Beatrice” by Odilon Redon is a captivating color lithograph on chine collé depicting an important figure from Dante’s “Divina Commedia.” The dreamlike atmosphere created reflects both Redon’s stylistic choices as well as the mystical nature of Dante’s work. As a prominent figure of Symbolism in French art during this time period, Redon experimented with various mediums throughout his career before creating this iconic piece now housed at the National Gallery of Art.