The Crying Spider (1881) by Odilon Redon

The Crying Spider - Odilon Redon - 1881

Artwork Information

TitleThe Crying Spider
ArtistOdilon Redon
Date1881
MediumCharcoal
Dimensions49.5 x 37.5 cm
Art MovementSymbolism
Current LocationPrivate collection, The Netherlands
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About The Crying Spider

Odilon Redon’s “The Crying Spider” is a charcoal drawing created in 1881 that depicts a human face on a spider’s body with tears falling from its eyes. The artwork has nine legs and portrays a sad gaze staring out blankly. It falls under the Surrealist and Symbolist art movements, which aimed to express the subconscious mind through dreamlike imagery.

Redon was a French artist born in 1840 and known for his drawing at an early age. He studied sculpture, etching, and lithography before creating “The Crying Spider” as part of his Noir lithograph series. The artwork is known for its streaky nightmare quality with visionary sensibility.

As one of Redon’s famous works, “The Crying Spider” represents an intricate balance between reality and fantasy, challenging the viewer’s perceptions of traditional beauty standards. While many might perceive spiders as creepy creatures associated with negativity, Redon reimagines them as creatures capable of experiencing human emotions such as sadness and melancholy.

Overall, “The Crying Spider,” like many other surreal artworks, aims to evoke complex emotions from viewers beyond visual aesthetics. It offers an enticing interpretation of the unconscious mind by presenting surrealistic imagery that might initially seem bizarre but allows us room to explore our own imagination while contemplating deep macrocosmic meaning about life itself.

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