In Heaven or Closed Eyes
Odilon Redon (1840 - 1916), 1889
oil on cardboard,
45 cm x 35 cm
Credits: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (State of the Netherlands)
This woman with her closed eyes is an intriguing figure. She symbolizes Redon’s views on art. Essentially, he wanted to turn his gaze inwards. Undistracted by visible reality, he found the true inspiration for his art in that inner world. The woman’s halo underlines the spiritual resonance of the image.
In 1889, Odilon Redon noted the sale of this painting to Theo van Gogh in his account book. He was still calling it In Heaven at that time. Later, he gave it its present title: Closed Eyes. In 1890, Theo also bought a print featuring one of Redon’s many variations on the same theme.