The Buddha (1905) ~ Bertrand-Jean (Odilon) Redon
image courtesy of artinthepicture.com
This image is one of my favorite oil paintings from any time period. I'm not sure why I enjoy it so much, but I think it's something in the way the objects and figures seem to float on top of the lush backgrounds, appearing separate from the landscape but not completely detached.
The effect is surrealist, in a sense, but Redon's subject matter, mostly still-lifes with plenty of natural themes, lends a calming tone to the work overall. The fact that the French artist was a skilled printmaker draws me in further. There is much more to discover about this underrated master.
This vision of the Buddha with the Bodhi Tree is one that appears in a few of Redon's paintings and I appreciate the Buddhist mythology, the serenity of the classic pose, as well as the vibrant but earthy color palette.
For more exquisite paintings by Redon, visit Odilon-Redon.org. Another site, OdilonRedon.net, can provide some more detailed biographical info.