The Gothic Window

Odilon Redon (French, 1840-1916)

Currently on View in H206
Image Licensing

The Gothic Window is one of many images Redon painted of profile figures with flowers. The woman embodies his conception of spiritual life and suggests a meditative state often found in Symbolist painting.

Eastern schools of thought also influenced Redon, and the floating cluster of flowers may be intended as Buddhist symbols of pure spirit and beauty. Perhaps the flowers are also a substitute for the brilliant color common to Gothic stained glass windows.

Redon's method of painting on unprimed canvas in strokes of dry pigment and patches of pure color gives this work the immediacy of a pastel drawing.

Louis Bernard, Paris, France; purchased by (Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, France) in 1916. (Lefebvre Gallery, London, England) about 1926. (Galeries Etienne Bignou, Paris, France) by 1929.{1} M. B. Sanders, New York, New York by 1931.{2} (Paul Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles, California) around 1946.{3} Mr. and Mrs. Lazarus Phillips, Montreal, Québec, by 1961;{4} by descent to Neil F. Phillips and Ivan E. Phillips, Montreal, Québec; Sale (Parke-Bernet, New York, New York) in 1965.{5} Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. Lockton, Indianapolis, Indiana; given to Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1970.

{1} The early provenance is given in Alec Wildenstein, Odilon Redon: catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné, Paris, vol. 1, 1992, cat no. 315 (ill.) Bignou is given as the owner in Charles Fegdal, Odilon Redon, Paris, 1929, no. 49 (ill.)
{2} M. B. Sanders, Jr. (probably the architect Morris B. Sanders [1904-1948]) , lent this painting to the exhibition Lautrec-Redon, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tenth Loan Exhibition, 1 February - 2 March, 1931, cat. no. 91 (ill.)
{3} As cited in Wildenstein catalogue raisonné, cat no. 315.
{4} Included in exhibition Odilon Redon, Gustave Moreau, Rodolphe Bresdin, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1961, cat. no. 24.
{5} Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, Highly important Impressionist and Modern Paintings and Drawings, 14 October 1965, lot 95 (ill.)

Object Information

Odilon Redon (French, 1840-1916)
creation date
oil on canvas
25-1/4 x 19-3/4 in.
34-1/2 x 29 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
The Lockton Collection
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture 1800-1945

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