The Green Vase
Oil on canvas (about 1900)
"Best known as a painter of dream-like, often darkly themed subjects, Odilon Redon produced hundreds of brilliantly colored floral still lifes in the last 16 years of his life. Although seemingly a simple painting of a bouquet of flowers, the vase hovering in space and the powdery surface place the subject somewhere between dream and reality. Redon was closely associated with the Symbolist movement and its fascination with the subconscious and the imaginary. This vertically formatted painting depicts a still life. Simply composed, the painting features a double-handled green vase centered on a reddish-brown table or ledge filled with a bouquet of varied red, pink, purple, white, and yellow flowers. Behind the still life is a blank wall that shifts from gray-blue to golden-brown hues as the eye travels upwards. The vase casts a subtle shadow on the table/ledge. The paint is applied thinly and sparingly in small, loose brushstrokes."