Redon was an admirer of Wagner and the subject of this lithograph is taken from Wagner's opera Parsifal.

The opera represents an allegory in which Parsifal, a youth ignorant of sin, is the personification of Christianity. Redon depicts Parsifal holding the Sacred Spear which he would use as defence against the ungodly. The triumph of Parsifal over the sorcerer, Klingsor, represents the triumph of Christianity over Paganism. Redon first began to make lithographs in 1879, depicting a highly imaginative dream world of phantoms and animals with human features. He always maintained, however, that his inspiration came from nature. Redon was much admired by Symbolist writers and painters but never subscribed to Symbolist theories and discouraged both definition and attempts to interpret his work.

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