1840 Bordeaux - Paris 1916

Crépuscule des dieux (Brünnhilde) – Twilight of the Gods (Brünnhilde) 1894

lithograph on ivory-colored chine appliqué on white wove paper; 380 x 291 mm (15 x 11 ½ inches)

signed in pencil at lower right

Mellerio 130

Ambroise Vollard, Paris
Henri M. Petiet, Paris (Lugt 2021a), acquired from the estate of the above; heirs of Henri M. Petiet, Paris
Marc Rosen Fine Art, Ltd., New York
private collection, New York (acquired in 2002)

Ted Gott, Enchanted Stone: The Graphic Worlds of Odilon Redon, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1990, no. 42
Marc Rosen and Susan Pinsky, French Prints of the Late 19th Century, Marc Rosen Fine Art, Ltd., exhibiting at Adelson Galleries, Inc., New York, April–May 2002, pp. 42f.

A very fine impression; the full sheet in very good, untreated condition, showing merely a few scattered fox marks.

The lithograph was printed in an edition of 80 impressions by Léon Monrocq in Paris. The stone was erased after the edition was printed.

In 1886 Redon made a first lithograph of the Wagnerian heroine Brünnhilde—shown against an abstract background wearing a helmet and breastplate and carrying a shield. The drama of that image was in keeping with the highly imaginative and often surreal lithographs and charcoal drawings that he produced in the 1880s and 1890s. The present representation of Brünnhilde dates from 1894 and is closer in tonality and in feeling to the pastel profile portraits of the 1890s and later years. The spray of flowers at the left anticipates their increasingly significant role in Redon’s later work.

Redon was not the only French nineteenth-century lithographer to have been inspired by opera. Henri Fantin-Latour, for example, depicted operatic themes in many of his lithographs.