Baronne de Domecy

Object Details


Baronne de Domecy


Odilon Redon (French, 1840 - 1916)




about 1900


Pastel and graphite on light brown laid paper

Object Number:



61 × 42.4 cm (24 × 16 11/16 in.)

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Gazing out hypnotically, the Baronne de Domecy appears removed from the material world, both physically and emotionally. The contrast between the sitter's monochromatic face and the explosion of multicolored, dreamlike flowers emphasizes the baroness's state of withdrawal and reverie. Neither entirely stylized nor precisely defined, the almost hallucinatory flora seems to float on the portrait's surface, as if projecting the sitter's inner vision. Do these flowers spring forth from the earth or from the depths of the imagination?

Odilon Redon executed this pastel portrait of the wife of his patron and friend, Baron Robert de Domecy, shortly after he had completed an ambitious cycle of decorative paintings for their château. The unconventional portrait likeness combines a delicate pencil rendering of the sitter's face, the tan paper ground serving as her "skin," with thickly applied red and blue pastel for her clothing. The muted blues of her jacket seem to bleed into the adjacent flowers, bridging sitter and surroundings. Reflecting Redon's fascination with underwater life, these prevalent blues, alongside notes of green and purple, also conjure up an aquatic world with its hidden depths and elusive meanings.

about 1900 -

Baron and Baronne Robert de Domecy, by inheritance to their heirs.

- 1990

Heirs of Baron and Baronne Robert de Domecy, sold through Marc Blondeau (Paris, France) to Artemis Group and Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox Ltd., London

1990 - 2005

Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, Ltd., sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2005.

Pastels & peintures de Odilon Redon (March 12 to March 26, 1903)
  • Durand-Ruel & Cie (Paris), March 12 to March 26, 1903
Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840-1916 (July 2, 1994 to May 21, 1995)
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, July 2 to September 18, 1994
  • Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam), October 20, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), February 16 to May 21, 1995
Rudon ten: zettai no tankyu / Odilon Redon: le souci de l'absolu (August 2 to December 8, 2002)
  • Shimane Prefectural Museum of Art (Shimane), August 2 to September 23, 2002
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, October 8 to December 8, 2002
Degas: Russian Dancers and the Art of Pastel (April 28 to October 23, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 3 to October 23, 2016

Mellerio, André. Transcription of Redon's Account Books, Chicago, André Mellerio Collection, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1991.2, Series XIV, Box.FF 17.20, MRA (Mellerio Redon Account Books) 1, p. 45.

Morice, Charles. "Pastels et peintures de M. Odilon Redon (Galeries Durand-Ruel)." Mercure de France 4 (April 1903), p. 240.

Denis, Maurice. "Oeuvres récentes d'Odilon Redon." L'occident, no. 17 (April 1903), p. 256.

Pastels & peintures de Odilon Redon, exh. cat. (Paris: Galeries Durand-Ruel, 1903), unpaginated, no. 16.

Denis, Maurice. Théories, 1890-1910 (Paris: L. Rouart & J. Watelin, 1920), p. 137.

Bacou, Roseline. "La décoration d'Odilon Redon pour le château de Domecy (1900-1901)." Revue du Louvre 42, no. 2 (June 1992), pp. 43-44, ill.

Wildenstein, Alec. Odilon Redon: catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné. 4 vols. (Paris: Wildenstein Institute, 1992-98), vol. 1 (1992), p. 46, no. 86, ill.

Druick, Douglas, et al. Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840-1916, exh. cat. (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, with Harry N. Abrams, 1994), pp. 445-46, no. 132.

Sharp, Kevin. "Redon and the Marketplace after 1900." In Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840-1916, exh. cat. Douglas Druick et al. (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, with Harry N. Abrams, 1994), pp. 261-62.

Groom, Gloria. "The Late Work." In Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840-1916, exh. cat. Douglas Druick et al. (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, with Harry N. Abrams, 1994), pp. 328-29, 424n80, fig. 79.

Kitazaki, Chikashi. "Correspondence between Figure and Background: A Metaphorical Structure of Symbolist Painting in Odilon Redon's Portrait of Mme. Robert de Domecy." Journal of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, no. 4 (2000), pp. 7-26, fig. 3.

Griswold, William M., et al. The Thaw Collection: Master Drawings and Oil Sketches, Acquisitions since 1994, exh. cat. (New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 2002), p. 106, under no. 49, entry by Cara Dufour Denison.

Yamamoto, Atsuko, et al., eds. Rudon ten: zettai no tankyu / Odilon Redon: le souci de l'absolu, exh. cat. (Shimane: Shimane Art Museum, 2002), pp. 136-37, 208, no. 178, ill., entry by Noriko Yamajo.

Larson, Barbara. "From Botany to Belief: Odilon Redon and Armand Clavaud." In As in a Dream: Odilon Redon, exh. cat. Margret Stuffmann and Max Hollein, eds. (Frankfurt: Schirn Kunsthalle, 2007), p. 99, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 141, ill.

Doherty, Tiarna, and Anne T. Woollett. Looking at Paintings: A Guide to Technical Terms. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009), p. 53, ill.

Telfair, Caty. "Interiors: Odilon Redon's Portraits of the Baroness de Domecy" In Mind and Matter-Selected Papers of NORDIK 2009 Conference for Art Historians, Jyväskylä, September 17-19, 2009 (Helsinki: Taidehistorian seura, 2010), pp. 111-23, fig. 2, cover ill.