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    Sale 2460 | Lot 249
    Price Realized: $47,500With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
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    • Sale 2460 Lot 249


      Lithograph on Chine appliqué, 1892. 475x318 mm; 18 3/4x12 1/2 inches, full margins. Edition of 25. Ex-collection M. Knoedler, New York; acquired from the above by John D. Rockefeller III, New York; sold Skinner, Boston, September 11, 1992, lot 16. A superb impression of this exceedingly scarce, important lithograph.

      Redon (1840-1916) was born to an affluent family in Bordeaux, France, where he showed artistic promise from a young age. In his early twenties, Redon traveled to Paris with the goal of becoming an architect at the esteemed École des Beaux-Arts. Though he failed to continue his architectural line of study, while in Paris he trained in painting under the academic artist Jean-Léon Gérôme. After leaving Paris, Redon studied engraving with Rodolphe Bresdin, an experience which greatly shaped his practice as a master printmaker, with the ability to push the complex technical boundaries of lithography and etching.

      As the 19th century came to a close, Redon became a prominent figure in the symbolist movement due to the religious and mystical nature of his subjects and the dark undertones in his scenes. While stylistic exchange with Realism and Impressionism is evident in his work, Redon espoused neither for their ties to quotidian life. Though these then avant-garde contemporary circles focused on societal genre scenes, Redon sought to craft transcendent images through the artist's individual emotional experiences. He combined traditional methods like chiaroscuro with a modern stylization of form, resulting in enigmatic, haunting compositions.

      The current lot is a stellar example of Redon's marriage of the fantastical and lived experience. In lieu of his characteristic heavy, dark shadows, the artist has drawn this lithograph leaving a gradient of tone in the upper image. A rare work absent of figures or obvious drama, the print's namesake tree is molded with elegant, figurative line, it floats solitary in space towards the cropped upper plate, artistically a bridge between the diminished human presence in many works by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) and his German Romantic contemporaries and an early harbinger of 20th century European Surrealism. Mellerio 120.

      Estimate $50,000 - 80,000

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $47,500