La Barque Mystique (c. 1890-95) by Odilon Redon

La Barque Mystique - Odilon Redon - c. 1890-95

Artwork Information

TitleLa Barque Mystique
ArtistOdilon Redon
Datec. 1890-95
MediumPastel on wove paper
Dimensions51 x 63.5 cm (20 1/16 x 25 in.)
Current LocationThe Woodner Collection, New York

About La Barque Mystique

La Barque Mystique is a series of pastels created by the French Symbolist artist Odilon Redon around 1890–1895. Redon was primarily known for his work in charcoal and lithography, but La Barque Mystique represents some of his most striking pieces in color. The pastels feature complex color relationships that imbue each piece with a sense of otherworldliness that adds to their enigmatic nature.

Redon’s exploration of the dark and esoteric aspects of human thought and dreams are central themes in these works. In each piece, he manipulates both color and form in unique ways that evoke different emotions from viewers. The imagery features disembodied heads, floating eyes, strange animals, and ambiguous shapes – all hinting at an alternative reality where words lose meaning.

The main takeaway is that Redon’s La Barque Mystique is an excellent representation of the Symbolist movement that focused on exploring imaginary landscapes beyond everyday experience. It invites viewers to enter a dreamlike world while also providing insight into human consciousness itself. Overall, it showcases the beauty and complexity of symbolism in art through vibrant colors and engaging forms rich with symbolic overtones.

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