Art: Nightmares & Flowers

A whole generation before the Surrealists made a fad of the subconscious, an affable, frail, dreamy little Frenchman was putting his most fantastic nightmares on paper. Even his tradition-busting contemporaries the Impressionists thought his work was queer. Up to the time of his death (1916) he sold his pictures (if at all) for as little as $15 apiece. Today he is a collectors' favorite, regarded by critics as one of the greatest painters of modern France. His name: Odilon Redon.

One Redon purchaser who got in on the ground floor was Chicago's famed...

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