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Breton Village by Odilon Redon
Breton Village by Odilon Redon

Breton Village, 1890

Odilon Redon

On its surface, this painting looks like a bucolic Impressionist landscape, with sketchy brushstrokes for the fields in the foreground and wispy white clouds in a summer sky. Yet there’s also a disquieting sense of remove, as if we’re looking into a world slightly apart from itself. We see the village from a distance away and there’s no hint of human activity, though a pile of hay stands drying between the structures in the foreground as if it’s been recently threshed. The structures seem bleached by a relentless sun; perhaps their inhabitants are resting indoors in the heat of the day.

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Credit
National Gallery of Art
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