Having worked almost exclusively in black and white for more than two decades, Redon revealed his gifts as a colorist in the luminous pastels and paintings he made after 1895. In this bouquet, such identifiable flowers as poppies and cornflowers, which he had studied attentively, emerge as fanciful re-creations, in jewel-like patches of color against a misty, undefined field. Late flower pictures such as this one remain true to Redon’s artistic aim: "to place the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible."
Inscription: Signed (lower left and at base of vase): ODILON REDON
the artist, Paris (ca. 1906–d. 1916; placed on consignment with Carroll Galleries by 1915); his widow, Camille Redon, Paris (1916–17; remained on consignment with Carroll Galleries); [sold through Carroll Galleries, New York in February 1917, for Fr 2,000 to Quinn]; John Quinn, New York (1917–d. 1924; his estate, 1924–26); Mrs. Joshua Montgomery Sears (née Sarah Carlisle Choate), Boston (1926–d. 1935); her cousin, Mabel Choate, Boston (by 1944–d. 1958)
New York. location unknown. "Redon," 1906, no. 11 (lent by Pottier) [see Sterling and Salinger 1967].
New York. Carroll Galleries. "Second Exhibition of Works by Contemporary French Artists," January 25–February 13, 1915, no. 16 (as "Vase of Flowers" [pink background]).
Indianapolis. John Herron Art Institute. "Paintings by Odilon Redon . . .," April 6–May 2, 1915, no. 8 (lent by Carroll Galleries) [see Sterling and Salinger 1967].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition," May 8–August 1920, unnumbered cat. (p. 10, as "Vase of Flowers," lent by John Quinn).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings," May 3–September 15, 1921, no. 94 (lent by John Quinn).
New York. Museum of French Art, French Institute. "Odilon Redon," April 3–May 1, 1922, no. 4 (lent by John Quinn).
Paris. Galerie Druet. "Exposition d'œuvres d'Odilon Redon (1840–1916)," June 11–23, 1923, no. 32 (as "Fleurs dans un vase chinoise") [see undated note in archive file].
New York. Art Center. "Memorial Exhibition of Representative Works Selected from the John Quinn Collection," January 7–30, 1926, no. 31 (as "Vase of Flowers," possibly this picture).
New York. Acquavella Galleries. "Odilon Redon," October 22–November 21, 1970, no. 46 (as "Flowers in a Chinese Vase").
Washington. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution. "'The Noble Buyer': John Quinn, Patron of the Avant-Garde," 1978, unnumbered cat.
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "From Delacroix to Matisse," March 15–May 10, 1988, no. 46.
Moscow. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. "From Delacroix to Matisse," June 10–July 30, 1988, no. 46.
Fort Lauderdale. Museum of Art. "Corot to Cézanne: 19th Century French Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 22, 1992–April 11, 1993, no catalogue.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840–1916," July 2–September 18, 1994, no. 164.
Amsterdam. Van Gogh Museum. "Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840–1916," October 20, 1994–January 15, 1995, no. 164.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Odilon Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840–1916," February 16–May 21, 1995, no. 164.
Humlebaek. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. "The Flower as Image," September 10, 2004–January 16, 2005, no. 103.
Fondation Beyeler. "Flower Myth: Vincent van Gogh to Jeff Koons," February 27–May 22, 2005, no. 136.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 94.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
"French, English, and American Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (September 1920), p. 208.
"Crowds Flock to See Museum Show." American Art News 19 (May 14, 1921), p. 6.
John Quinn, 1870–1925: Collection of Paintings, Water Colors, Drawings & Sculpture. Huntington, N.Y., 1926, p. 14.
Forbes Watson. "The John Quinn Collection." The Arts 9 (January 1926), p. 13, ill.
"No. 5 in House & Garden's Flower Paintings." House & Garden (September 1944), pp. 70–71, ill. (color).
Klaus Berger. Odilon Redon: Fantasy and Colour. New York, 1965, p. 204, no. 308, dates it about 1912.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 8–9, ill., call it "Flowers in a Chinese Vase" and believe that it must have been painted by 1906; mention that the vase reappears in a picture signed and dated 1916, exhibited in the World's Fair of 1940 (Museum of Modern Art, New York; W1516).
B[enjamin]. L[awrence]. Reid. The Man from New York: John Quinn and His Friends. New York, 1968, p. 295, recounts that Quinn bought a painting in September 1917 from Carroll Galleries titled "The White Bouquet" for Fr 2,500, possibly this picture.
Odilon Redon. Exh. cat., Acquavella Galleries. New York, 1970, unpaginated, no. 46, ill., dates it about 1912.
Judith Zilczer. "The Noble Buyer:" John Quinn, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution. Washington, 1978, pp. 180–81, dates it 1912.
Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 240–41, ill. in color (overall and detail), calls it "Flowers in a Chinese Vase" and dates it about 1906.
Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, pp. 86–88, colorpl. 63, date it before 1906.
Roger Hurlburt. "Free Spirits." Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale) (December 20, 1992), p. 4D.
Helen Kohen. "Lasting Impressions." Miami Herald (December 20, 1992), p. 6I, ill. p. 1I, erroneously gives the MMA accession number as 1959.16.13.
Maryanne Stevens in Douglas Druick. Redon: Prince of Dreams, 1840–1916. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 1994, pp. 287, 291, 448, no. 164, fig. 37 (color), dates it about 1910.
Alec Wildenstein. Odilon Redon: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint et dessiné. Vol. 3, Fleurs et paysages. Paris, 1996, pp. 110–11, no. 1520, ill. (color).
Rebecca A. Rabinow. "Modern Art Comes to the Metropolitan: The 1921 Exhibition of 'Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings'." Apollo 152 (October 2000), pp. 3, 11–12, fig. 1 (color).
Susan Alyson Stein inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 132, 250, no. 94, ill. (color and black and white).
Susan Alyson Stein inMasterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 148, 294–95, no. 137, ill. (color and black and white).
Redon used this vase in at least two other pictures, "Bouquet in a Chinese Vase" (MMA 62.266; Wildenstein 1518) and "Vase of Flowers" (Museum of Modern Art, New York, W1516).