Odilon Redon, a French Symbolist artist, is known for his imaginative and enigmatic artworks that explore fantasy, literature, and the subconscious. One of his most compelling works is “Mystery”, a drawing likely created around 1910 using charcoal medium and various techniques to create texture and tone. The intangible meaning of the painting allows for numerous interpretations, contributing to its mysteriousness.
Redon was seeking to evoke a sense of mystery equivalent to that which he felt in nature through his artwork. He rejected Realism and Impressionism in favor of a more personal artistic vision that celebrated imagination. Drawing on his preference for unseen forces underlying appearances, Redon intended to reveal them through his art.
Despite being part of one of Redons final color phases often aimed at producing tranquil images,’Mystery’ conveys both an unrestful yet peaceful sensation while beckoning viewers to join them in their search for understanding it’s many interpretations.
“Mystery” is part of an extensive collection at Cleveland Museum showcasing Redons’ Arts contribution there as an early champion of luminarie artists.