Guardian Spirit of the Waters (1878) by Odilon Redon

Guardian Spirit of the Waters - Redon, Odilon - 1878 - 2

Artwork Information

TitleGuardian Spirit of the Waters
ArtistOdilon Redon
Dimensions46.6 x 37.6 cm
Art MovementSymbolism
Current LocationThe Art Institute of Chicago
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About Guardian Spirit of the Waters

Odilon Redon’s Guardian Spirit of the Waters is a French Symbolist artwork created in 1878 using various charcoals, black chalk, stumping, erasing, incising and subtractive sponge work. The artwork depicts dreamlike imagery and anticipates 20th-century Surrealism. Redon is known for his imaginative works that explored themes of nature, spirituality and inner vision.

This piece showcases Redon’s fascination with supernatural scenes using the logic of the Visible at the service of the Invisible. His use of various mediums such as white chalk on cream wove paper altered to a golden tone added depth to his art. The artist signed this piece with “OD.R.” in black chalk.

Guardian Spirit of the Waters has been praised by many art enthusiasts and has been featured in MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Other notable works by Odilon Redon include Death, The Misshapen Polyp Floated on the Shores and A Mask Sounds the Funeral Knell. This artwork is housed at The Art Institute of Chicago.

Overall, Redon’s vivid imagination culminated into this masterpiece that will continue to captivate audiences long into the future.

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