Baronne de Domecy

Object Details

Title:

Baronne de Domecy

Artist/Maker(s):

Odilon Redon (French, 1840 - 1916)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1900

Medium:

Pastel and graphite on light brown laid paper

Dimensions:

61 x 42.4 cm (24 x 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' 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.

Provenance
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.

Exhibitions
Pastels & peintures de Odilon Redon (March 12 to March 26, 1903) (Cat. 16)
  • Durand-Ruel & Cie, (Paris), March 12 to March 26, 1903
Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840-1916 (July 2, 1994 to May 21, 1995) (Cat. 132)
  • 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) (Cat. 178)
  • Shimane Prefectural Museum of Art, (Shimane), August 2 to September 23, 2002
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, October 8 to December 8, 2002