With eyes closed by Odilon Redon

With eyes closed by Odilon Redon

Redon has written this gigantic “sleeping head” foreshadowing images of surrealists in many ways. Art historians believe that it was from this picture that the “bright period” opened in the master’s work, when he gradually began to move away from the dark “black marks” and began to give preference to light and colorful images.

In fact, there is a huge difference between the painting “With closed eyes” and the previous works of Redon. If in the latter often there are heads separated from the body, anxiously looking into the emptiness with huge, inhuman eyes, then in “With closed eyes” the head seems to be the head of some antique statue. Her eyes are dreamily closed, the calm “sea” background tells us that her dreams are serene. Modern Redon critics argued that this head – a portrait of Camilla, the wife of the artist.

They also talked about the fact that “With closed eyes,” Redon wrote, focusing on the style of Leonardo da Vinci. Indeed, the closed eyes of Redon’s “head”, her graceful inclination resemble the heads of the characters of Leonardo.

Redon’s palette, which has just begun to move from graphics to polychrome painting, remains here still pale, “timid”, but it already has a premonition of future joyful colors. It is also interesting to note that the author himself interpreted this picture in a religious vein: in one version of “With closed eyes” a nimbus is depicted around the head.

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