Baronne de Domecy
Digital image © 2009 J. Paul Getty Trust
Odilon Redon executed this pastel portrait of the wife of his patron and friend, Baron Robert de Domecy, shortly after he had completed an ambitious cycle of decorative paintings for their château. The unconventional portrait likeness combines a delicate pencil rendering of the sitter's face, the tan paper ground serving as her "skin," with thickly applied red and blue pastel for her clothing. The muted blues of her jacket seem to bleed into the adjacent flowers, bridging sitter and surroundings. Reflecting Redon's fascination with underwater life, these prevalent blues, alongside notes of green and purple, also conjure up an aquatic world with its hidden depths and elusive meanings.
Pastel and graphite on light brown laid paper