Odilon Redon, (Born 1840) was born in Bordeaux, France. He was an etcher, lithographer, and symbolist painter of considerable poetic imagination and sensitivity, whose work developed along two divergent lines. Redon’s prints explore macabre, fantastic, often haunted themes and foreshadowed the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Chiefly still lifes with flowers, his pastels and oils, won him the admiration of Matisse Henri and other painters as an important colorist. He studied under Gérôme Jean-Léon; mastered engraving from Bresdin Rodolphe, who exerted an important influence. The artist also learned lithography under Fantin-Latour Henri. Rather than visual perception his aesthetic was one of imagination. His imagination found an intellectual boost in Stéphane Mallarmé, his close friend and a Symbolist poet. He also associated himself with a group of Symbolist painters. Beginning in 1879 Redon produced more than 200 prints, with the lithographs together titled In the Dream.
In 1882, he completed another series that he dedicated to Allan Poe Edgar, whose poems had been translated by Mallarmé and Baudelaire Charles into French with great success. Instead of illustrating Allan, his lithographs are poems in visual terms. They evoke the poet’s world of private torment. There’s enough evidence that Redon’s art was linked to Goya, especially his menacing shapes and winged demons and in fact one of his series of 1885 was the Homage to Goya. About 4 years after producing this series, Redon decided to devote himself fully to color drawing and painting sensitive floral studies. He also drew and painted heads that appear to be lost in reverie or dreaming.