Associated somewhat reluctantly with Symbolism, Odilon Redon began his career as a creator of monochrome works, charcoals or lithographs, which he called his "blacks".

The colour only reappeared in his work around 1894, particularly with the use of pastels - a medium close to charcoal in its powdery and smooth aspect, as well as its great fragility - which enabled him to produce this new, violent chromatic intensity.

While the artist occasionally worked once again in the colour of his old "blacks" (Le Vieil Ange/The Old Angel), he also focussed on subjects new to him, such as the birth of Venus, butterflies, or bouquets of flowers, in which iridescent skies and water, mother of pearl, diapered wings and silky petals are such a superb match for the very material of pastel.

More precisely, this Birth of Venus dates from around 1912, during which time Redon had the model Alphonsine Zabé pose nude in his studio, as recommended by Maurice Denis.

City of Paris municipal collection's website

City of Paris municipal collection's website

The collections portal can be used to search the collections of Paris’s 14 municipal museums (approximately 336,000 works, including 43,000 belonging to the Petit Palais).

It is also possible to download around 12,000 images of the museum’s works free of charge.

Access the Museums of the City of Paris collections portal
Autre base documentaire

Extern databases

Discover a selection of databases online presenting works from the Petit Palais or documents concerning the history of the museum.