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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Odilon Redon
French, 1840–1916 Iwan Gilkin
Belgian, 1858–1924

The Damnation of the Artist (La damnation de l’artiste)

Lithography and letterpress, 1890
Published by Edmond Deman, Brussels, 1890
Gift of Molly and Walter Bareiss, 1984.993

Odilon Redon once said that the color black “originates in the deepest recesses of our being.” Indeed, this lithograph, made to accompany Iwan Gilkin’s morbid and morally ambiguous poetry, attempts to make visible the world of fantasy and dreams. In a work that looks to escape physical reality, Redon delves into the imagination, employing dramatic contrasts of dark and light and incorporating his characteristic floating heads. Desiring to put “the visible at the service of the invisible,” Redon, in his work, invites the viewer to journey into the realm of mystery and the macabre.