We can only guess as to the meaning of these enigmatic prints. Like most Symbolist artists, Redon resisted any attempt to interpret his work, as this would diminish its mysticism.
Nevertheless they too sought to reach beneath the surface of everyday life in their prints.
They used a certain mood to enable the viewer to sense the hidden essences and emotions at play.
The Nabis stylised visible reality by translating their impressions into a harmonious (or disharmonious) combination of colours, lines and surfaces — to which colour lithography lent itself perfectly.
Pierre-Louis Mathieu, La génération symboliste, Geneva 1990
Henri Dorra (red.), Symbolist Art Theories. A Critical Anthology, Berkeley 1994
Pierre Théberge et al., Lost Paradise. Symbolist Europe, tent.cat., Montreal 1995