Odilon Redon (French 1840 - 1916) was a Symbolist painter and etcher. Born in Bordeaux, Redon spent a solitary, sickly childhood. As he began to study art, he met Rodolphe Bresdin who instructed him in etching and lithography and encouraged Redon to explore his imagination. Later, in Paris, he was inspired by Fantin-Latour and other illustrators who stimulated further work in lithography, working almost exclusively in charcoal and lithography.
His career can be divided in to two distinct periods. Before 1890, Redon produced nearly 200 lithographs of dreamlike scenes populated by weird amoeboid creatures. In the 1890s he turned to color, producing poetic studies in pastel and oils of flowers, butterflies, and dreaming heads. His popularity increased when a catalogue of etchings and lithographs was published by André Mellerio in 1913 and that same year, he was given the largest single representation at the New York Armory Show. Surrealist artists regarded him as one of the precursors of their movement.