Odilon Redon French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 813

In classical mythology, Pandora was a supremely beautiful woman created by the gods and sent to Earth to live among mortals. Redon depicts her nude, in a state of perfect innocence, and surrounded by flowers, like the biblical Eve in the Garden of Eden. According to legend, when Pandora opened the box cradled in her arms, she released all the evils destined to plague humanity, bringing to an end the idyllic Golden Age. This painting is thought to have been made about 1914, on the eve of World War I, when the themes of harmony destroyed and chaos unleashed may have had heightened resonance.

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Pandora, Odilon Redon (French, Bordeaux 1840–1916 Paris), Oil on canvas

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