The Eye like a Strange Balloon Mounts toward Infinity, Odilon Redon, 1882 : Historic Handmade Prints Reimagined Series


This open edition print is being made from polymer photogravure plate as an 11×15″ (23×38 cm) bleed print, meaning the print goes over the edge of the deckled edge of the paper. The artist’s original signature is also included below the artwork. This image was taken from an original, held in the archive of The MOMA

Part of our series of Historic Handmade Prints Reimagined print series where we take historic work in the public domain, and edition them as contemporary photogravure prints.


3 in stock


Borrowed from the MOMA:

The Eye like a Strange Balloon Mounts toward Infinity (L’Œil, comme un ballon bizarre se dirige vers l’infini)1882

Odilon Redon, an individualist who believed in the superiority of the imagination over observation of nature, rejected the Realism and Impressionism of his contemporaries in favor of a more personal artistic vision. After a discouraging experience studying academic painting in Paris, he returned to his hometown of Bordeaux, where he began making etchings in 1864. Later, returning to Paris, he was encouraged by a fellow artist to try lithography and was introduced to Lemercier, a renowned Parisian workshop. He soon discovered that the unique qualities of this technique enabled him to achieve infinite gradations of tone, fine-line drawing, and rich depictions of light and dark. Also, through the possibility of editioning, he found a vehicle for broadly distributing the intimate imagery of his drawings.

During his lifetime, Redon made close to thirty etchings and two hundred lithographs, working almost exclusively in black and white. His reputation flourished, due, in part, to the availability of his prints. He became a celebrated figure in fin-de-siècle Paris, greatly admired by artists and writers of the Symbolist movement with whom he shared an enthusiasm for the fantastic, mystical, and sublime forces found beneath the surface of everyday life. Using nature as his starting point, Redon imagined new worlds through his enigmatic creations, such as The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity.

The majority of Redon’s lithographs are found in albums based on thematic or literary subjects. He was greatly inspired by such authors as Edgar Allan Poe and Gustave Flaubert, whose unusual sensibilities were well suited to the artist’s own. Redon was so moved by Flaubert’s 1874 prose poem _The Temptation of Saint Anthon_y that he created three separate projects based on it.

Additional information

Weight 32 oz
Dimensions 18 × 24 × 2 in

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