Palais de Tokyo, Paris/Bridgeman Art Library, London/Superstock

The Buddha in France. In the 1880s, as European rule spread across Asia, Asian ideas began to filter back to Europe. Interest in Buddhism began to grow, as evidenced by the sudden rise in Buddhist scholarship in the West. In the world of painting, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, inspired by the East, led a revolution in western art. Participating in that artistic upheaval was their compatriot, Odilon Redon (1840–1916). Redon’s use of rare colors evokes a world of rare peace. In 1905, Redon completed this pastel, “The Buddha.” The unusual post-impressionistic colors juxtaposed with the familiar face and pose of the Buddha resulted in a remarkable meeting of West and East.