Odilon Redon

Exotic Flowers

c. 1914
Throughout his career Redon freely combined numerous materials and techniques in his desire for artistic innovation. But at the very end of his life he identified primarily with pastel, referring to himself in 1915 as a "simple pastellist." In this late work Redon used pastel in bold passages of vibrant colour - in spite of expressing concern for the stability of these notoriously unstable aniline dyestuffs. Thick, impasto- like strokes created with pastel sticks dipped in water prior to drawing contrast with more powdery, dry pastel passages.

– Van Wisselingh label, n. 725x

– James Bourlet & Son packers

– “Redon 34, Fleurs exotiques”

– “n.44/ O.Redon / Fleurs exotiques / ASSS”

– “13349 / Redon Fleurs exotiques”

– “Exposition retrospective. Galerie Barbaznages 18 mai–15 juin, 1920, n.110. “Fleurs exotiques” proprietaire M. Hessel”

– “Joseph Hessel, Paris”

– “Expos. O. Redon, 1923, Galerie Druet, n. 86.”

by 1920/05 –
Joseph Hessel, Paris, France [1]

1923/06 –
Galerie Druet, Paris (?)[2]

– 1951
J. N. H. Eisenloeffel (1881–1974), Amsterdam, The Netherlands [3]

– 1951/02/15
E. J. Van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam, purchased from J. N. H. Eisenloeffel [4]

1951/02/15 –
National Gallery of Canada, purchased from Van Wisselingh & Co. [5]

The main source for this provenance is Alec Wildenstein's catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 1340 [Alec Wildenstein. “Odilon Redon: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné.” vol. III, “Fleurs et paysages.” Paris: Wildenstein Institute, 1996]

[1] According to two labels on the back (see above) the painting belonged to Joseph Hessel by 1920. Jos. Hessel was a Belgian collector and dealer of French Modern Art in Paris.

[2] According to another label on the verso, the pastel was was included in an exhibition at the Galerie Druet, Paris, in June 1923 [Exposition d'oeuvres de Odilon Redon (1840–1916): peintures, pastels, aquarelles, dessins, lithographies, eaux-fortes, art décoratif" Galerie E. Druet, Paris, June 11-30, 1923, lot. no. 86] It is not clear, if the painting was owned by the gallery or on loan.

[3] The stock book of the Dutch art dealer E.J. van Wisslingh & Co. records that Dutch art dealer Nico Eisenloeffels owned Exotic Flowers until 1951 [Van Wisselingh Archive, stock number 7196, Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Dokumentatie, The Hague, The Netherlands]. Consequently the pastel was still in Eisenloeffels possession when Van Wisselingh included it in a Montreal exhibition in 1950 [“French Paintings of the XIXth and XXth Centuries.” (Coll. of Mr. P. Eilers of E.J. Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam), Watsons Art Galleries, Montreal, cat. no. 19].

[4] See note [3].

[5] Accession Log [NGC curatorial file]

Exotic Flowers
c. 1914
pastel on wove paper
62.6 x 49.2 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1951
Accession number