The Redon Collection
View all works by Odilon Redon in the Bonger Collection on the website.
How did a Dutch insurance man become the most important collector and confidant of symbolist artist Odilon Redon (1840–1916)?
Between 1894 and 1908, Andries Bonger (1861–1936) amassed an impressive collection of artworks by Redon: dark charcoal drawings, but also colourful pastels, paintings and wall decorations. With these works, he transformed his house in Amsterdam into a veritable Parisian palace.
Andries Bonger believed that art was a direct expression of the maker’s mind. A close relationship between collector and artist was necessary for a better understanding of the art.
Bonger became one of Redon’s most important confidants, with a special friendship developing between the two sensitive individuals. It is not surprising, therefore, that the artist dedicated his memoirs to his ‘faithful friend and confidant Andries Bonger’.
54 works by Redon from Bonger’s collection are housed at the Van Gogh Museum and can be viewed as part of the online collection. 36 of these works will be accompanied by pdf files containing extensive scientific entries that provide more information about a rich collection by a remarkable artist.
How did Bonger take his first steps in artist Redon’s mysterious universe? How did he manage to build one of the most beautiful collections of the artist’s work? How did he live among Redon’s works in his Amsterdam house, and what did this continuous contact with Redon’s art give him as a person?
Read more about the special relationship between the French artist and Dutch collector in the extensive essay by curator Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho.
Essential to our understanding of the special friendship between Bonger and Redon is the extensive correspondence between artist and collector. Their correspondence, which spans many years, has now been published for the first time in its entirety in French.
Volume II of the publication Sans Adieu contains many more essays on the relationship between Bonger and Redon, written by various authors.