Art: Painter of Dreams

"The greatest of the surrealists," is the title leading French Critic Claude Roger-Marx has bestowed posthumously on Odilon Redon, the strange, self-effacing painter of dreams and visions who so perplexed his 19th century impressionist colleagues. Although he was a contemporary of such greats as Manet, Monet, Renoir and Cézanne, Redon was out of step with his generation. He set out on his own path, investigated what lay in and behind the shadows that the sun-struck painters of his day chose to ignore.

It was the long way to success. Revival of widespread interest in...

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