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Vase of Flowers (Pink Background) by Odilon Redon

Vase of Flowers (Pink Background), 1906

Odilon Redon

To make this exuberant bouquet, Redon fancifully reimagined common flowers like red poppies and blue cornflowers. Here, they appear in jewel-like patches of color against a misty, undefined background. It’s in paintings like this one, made late in the artist’s career, that he revealed his gifts as a colorist. Previously, he’d worked for more than two decades almost exclusively in black and white. This vase of flowers seems to glow with a luminous inner light, which is in keeping with Redon’s artistic aim: “to place the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible.”

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