The presence of Gustave Flaubert and Saint Anthony in Odilon Redon's Temptation albums
Cochran, Nadine Oleva
Master of Arts
Odilon Redon looked to Flaubert's novel, La Tentation de Saint Antoine, as inspiration for much of his oeuvre during the 1880's and 1890's. Redon and Flaubert shared a stylistic taste noted for destabilized meaning and deliberate ambiguity. To understand how Redon accomplished the disruption of a single meaning in his artistic productions, I will use a semiotic analysis of several of the lithographs from his Temptation albums to examine the verbal and visual sign systems, as well as the semiotic potential of the medium of lithography. The third part of the paper will focus on issues not previously addressed in art historical literature: the thesis that Redon empathized with St. Anthony to such an extent that he was continually drawn back to Flaubert's novel for inspiration for both his works in charcoal and lithography that he called his "noirs" and, later his works in color.
Romance literature; Art history