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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name



Art and Art History

First Advisor

Jennifer Olmsted


While Odilon Redon’s legacy is primarily set in his use of bright, vibrant colors, his career did not begin as such. His use of color, as well as his artistic career as a whole, endured several transformations that led him to this matured style that we know him for now. Relationships with literary figures, scientists, and his eventual wife all played a substantial role in the development of Redon’s style, eventually leading to the brilliant, rich paintings of butterflies and flowers that he is known for. The metamorphosis of plants and animals in his art mirror that of the metamorphosis that he endured surrounding his career. Throughout this essay, I explore these transitions – these metamorphoses – and the way in which they shaped his overall oeuvre. Color, specifically, proved to be a journey for Redon, and he pushed the boundaries for what was expected of a Symbolist artist.

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