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Pegasus Captif

Pegasus Captif, 1891, Lithograph
Odilon Redon (French, 1840 – 1916)

The loosely rendered torso of Perseus leading Pegasus by a magical bridle emerges from a range of sumptuous shadows in one of Odilon Redon’s most famous noirs, his collection of works conceived in shades of black. The artist culled many of his subjects from classical mythology, literature, or his own imagination, and he returned to Pegasus repeatedly throughout his career in over a dozen variations.

Produced from a charcoal drawing, this lithograph was issued during a wave of increasing interest in Redon’s art and lithography in the 1890s. For a significant portion of his career, Redon only worked in gray scale. The artist relied on the sale of his prints and drawings to build his reputation, and therefore deftly exploited the potential of print reproductions to increase exposure to his artwork. As a result of his reliance on this type of production, he contributed significantly to the history of print making and collecting during the late nineteenth century.