Key to the symbolist movement, Odilon Redon used expressive explorations of color to create fantastical and dream-like works of painting and graphic art. The French artist was born as Bertrand-Jean Redon on April 20, 1840, and was native to Bordeaux. Odilon Redon studied sculpture and lithography prior to serving in the Franco-Prussian war in 1970. Post-war, he moved to Paris and established a career working nearly exclusively in charcoal and lithography. It was during this era that Odilon Redon produced much of his noirs, monochromatic compositions of black which largely embodied his interest in fantasy realms. Odilon Redon was a reader of Baudelaire and Poe, and had knowledge of the natural sciences, all of which formed the basis of his inclusion of dream-like motifs, including his “monsters,” and a pattern of including disembodied heads within his work. Though Redon himself did not identify with any symbolist group, he became largely influential, especially to the younger group the Nabis, who would incorporate decorative and symbolist elements into their work. From 1890 onward, Odilon Redon moved away from lithography and instead to pastels and oils, introducing more decorative forms into his art and introducing the usage of color. He would use these forms dominantly for the rest of his life, and would eventually begin working on commissions for paintings of murals and screens. Despite his inclusion of floral motifs, he would never work sheerly naturalistically, evolving his exploration of unnatural forms through using non-naturalistic colors. Odilon Redon would die in 1916 after receiving great acclaim throughout the latter half of his career. His work has often served as inspiration for surrealists and dadaists. The invention of his own unique realm within his work would remain groundbreaking.