Birth of a Symbolist

Hello friends. I’m posting late on Friday night after a day of house chores, tidying up, organizing, and the first stages of a massive spring cleaning. And I do mean massive. I have tons more to do but am actually off to a pretty good start. Saturday is kitchen floor cleaning day. I’ve got my mop and bucket ready. Woooo hooooo!!

Thanks to Twitter and the abundance of information bits it showers upon its users, I learned that April 20th, my day of tedious housekeeping, was also a notable birthday date. Among the famous figures born on April 20th are the American sculptor Daniel Chester French, screen actor of the silent film era Harold Lloyd, Spanish surrealist painter Joan Miro, Star Trek actor George Takei, Latin jazz giant Tito Puente, and former Yankee first baseman Don Mattingly. Unfortunately, that marvelous diverse group also shares a birthday with Adolf Hitler. Ew. Doesn’t that just taint the whole thing? It would bother the hell out of me if I shared a birthday with Hitler.

Another April 20th birthday belongs to French symbolist Odilon Redon, whose work I absolutely love. He easily holds a spot in my top ten list of favorite artists. So in honor of Redon’s birthday, here’s a video montage of his work. Watch and enjoy the magical, fanciful beauty, inventiveness, and moody imagery of Redon’s work.

16 thoughts on “Birth of a Symbolist

  1. violinhunter says:

    Redon? I must live in another world – never heard of him. Chagall and DaVinci – them I know.

  2. Bill MacDonald says:

    No! All those April 20th birthdays, and you missed the one really important one — Fenway Park — 100 years old yesterday. Sigh. Don Mattingly, indeed 🙂

    All kidding aside, thanks — that is a nice video. Redon isn’t on my top 10 list, but I do like his stuff — and especially French and Takei, too.

    • artmodel says:


      Oh. My. God. I can’t believe I left out the Fenway Park 100th birthday!! You’re right! And I even tweeted an article about it! I feel bad, damn. And it sucks even more that the Sox lost on that special occasion to the stupid Yankees 😡

      By the way, speaking as a Met fan, I can assure you that the Bobby Valentine-induced stress will only get worse as the season progresses. The man is twisted.

      Thanks for your comments, Bill!


  3. dougrogers says:

    Only superficially familiar, myself, with Redon. I’ve seen the obvious images before, the cyclops, the spiders… The landscapes are luscious. I’ll have to look into his blues more.

    So much work from that period, Mucha also, influenced a generation of comic book artists and illustrators, believe it or not. David Apattoff has touched on them sometimes: Berni Wrightson, Jeffrey Catherine Jones. I saw BW in some of the monster imagery, Catherine Jones in the spacing and composition and colour work.

  4. Dan Hawkins says:

    I love seeing any mention of silent film stars like Harold Lloyd. My favorite movie of 2011 was the Martin Scorsese film “Hugo.” I took my two kids to see it last fall, and Elijah, my 9-year-old, was enthralled by the silent film clips in the movie. When we got home, I told him that I owned both “A Trip to the Moon” from 1902 and “Safety Last” from 1925 on DVD, both of which figure in the plot of “Hugo.” So we immediately sat down and watched them both together. In “Hugo,” only a small clip of Harold Lloyd’s clock tower climbing scene from “Safety Last” was shown, but the entire sequence is really amazing when you can see it from beginning to end.

    • artmodel says:


      I loved Hugo! Beautiful film. A more extended clip of the harold Lloyd scene would have been nice, I agree. But what they did include was well-used. It’s wonderful that you’re enjoying Harold Lloyd films with your son Elijah.

      Thanks for your comments!


  5. Ron says:

    Twisted? Bobby V. brings drama wherever he goes, but he still got us into the World Series and no one else has done that since.

    • artmodel says:


      I can handle a degree of “drama”, but Bobby V takes it too far for my taste. I call him twisted because of his sick need to always make it about HIM. He’s one of those people who needs attention so badly he’ll even create negative attention and controversy just to be at the center of things.

      What I most object to is Valentine’s penchant for criticizing his own players to the press, undermining them publicly. That’s just classless in my opinion. We’re only two weeks into the season and he has already done this shit in Boston with his comments about Kevin Youkilis. What productive purpose does that serve?

      I remember very well what Valentine did here for the Mets. I was there for much of it! It was a fun period for us, I agree. It also brought a significant share of needless anxiety, courtesy of Bobby V.

      Thanks for commenting, Ron!


  6. Jennifer says:

    Re the first comment about this post, I only came across Redon on your blog – so you’re doing a good job of keeping his memory alive 🙂

    Love the video – great to see so much of his work strung together in this way. I love the way his symbolism is mysterious and painterly; less obvious than the Surrealists.

    • artmodel says:

      Jennifer, thank you! Yes, it seems I am a one-woman crew on a mission to get Redon noticed!

      You used the word “mysterious” to describe his work, which is perfect. I’d also use “odd”, in a good way of course. Odd, mysterious, imaginative, unique, surreal – all good attributes for an artist’s work I’d say. My kind of thing 🙂


  7. Bill MacDonald says:

    You know, how many blogs discuss Odilon Redon and Bobby Valentine at the same time? Gotta love it. There’s a baseball card exhibit at the Met (as opposed to “Mets” :-), isn’t there — so it’s totally relevant. Marvelous Marv Throneberry, anyone? 🙂
    P.S. I like Harold Lloyd, too.

    • artmodel says:

      “You know, how many blogs discuss Odilon Redon and Bobby Valentine at the same time? Gotta love it.”

      Bill, that’s awesome! And that’s Museworthy in a nutshell. Thanks for your comments and observations, always 🙂

      And yes, Harold Lloyd was the man.


      PS – Here’s a prediction: Bobby Valentine will have conflict with Josh Beckett, and possibly other players. Then he will publicly ridicule Red Sox management and get ejected from at least four games. He will not be the manager by the end of the season.

  8. fredh1 says:

    Odilon Redon is one of my favorites – deserves to be better known. And besides the wonderful dreamlike imagery, what a great name he has. It looks great in print and sounds great in French.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.