This is one of the few oil portraits that Redon made for the wife of his friend Baron de Domecy. This portrait of a woman dressed in red and brown, with a melancholic expression, is infused with real gravity.

The baroness is shown in a three-quarters view, sitting in an armchair of which only the armrest is visible. She fills a triangle on the right, leaving the main part of the painting for the background. This background is characteristic of Odilon Redon's style. The Japanesque clouds, dusted with iridescent colours, predominantly blue and white, place this meditative figure on the fringe of the cosmos. In the lower left corner there is a hint of bronze foliage.

The model's complexion is pale, as required by the canons of beauty at the time; and her gaze seems to be lost in metaphysical contemplation. The indeterminate space and the use of line and colour give more room to interpretation than to reality. They are used to serve a sensitive, inner vision which gives the artist an opportunity to play with nuances of colour.

The contrast between the dark silhouette and the coloured background makes this subjective world even more palpable.


  • Title: Baroness Robert de Domecy
  • Creator Lifespan: 1840 - 1916
  • Creator Nationality: French
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Date Created: 1900
  • Provenance: Bought through the Société des Amis du Musée d'Orsay, with the help of Philippe Meyer, 1994
  • Physical Dimensions: w680 x h740 cm
  • Painter: Odilon Redon
  • Original Title: Baronne Robert de Domecy
  • Credit Line: © Musée d'Orsay, dist.RMN / Patrice Schmidt
  • Artist Information: http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/collections/around-redon.html
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: © Musée d'Orsay, dist.RMN / Patrice Schmidt
  • External Link: https://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/collections

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