Odilon Redon French

Not on view

This fantastical drawing of a helmeted woman in profile is one of four similar charcoal drawings Redon executed during the last decade of the nineteenth century. The sitter, rendered strangely mute by her helmetlike covering and untouchable by its thorny needles, varies slightly from sheet to sheet. While the exact meaning of Redon's image is unclear, it has been thought that the bizarre bondage imposed on his sitter expresses subconscious fear of female sexuality or, conversely, serves as a symbol of female fecundity. Equally important, however, is Redon's virtuoso handling of charcoal and his ability to capture its full range of tones, from the dark velvet quality of the helmet to the pallor of the woman's skin.

Armor, Odilon Redon (French, Bordeaux 1840–1916 Paris), Charcoal and conté crayon

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.