Apollo is recognized as the god of archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing and diseases, the Sun and light, poetry, and more. In 1878, Redon, in a study of Delacroix, praised that artist's ceiling in the Louvre showing the Chariot of Apollo, and in the same year he noted in his journal his admiration for a painting of Phaethon by Gustave Moreau.
Between 1905 and 1916 Redon devoted a number of oils, pastels and watercolors to the theme of horses of the sun, driven, according to classical mythology, by the god Apollo or his son Phaëthon.
Odilon Redon was a French symbolist painter, printmaker, draughtsman and pastellist. He was a contemporary of Monet and Renoir but never an adherent of Impressionism. He was viewed as an outsider and his art was not widely accepted during his life. Drawing deeply from his imagination, Redon explains, ""My father often used to say to me: 'Look at those clouds, can you see as I can, the changing shapes in them?' And then he would show me strange beings, fantastic and marvelous visions, in the changing sky."" So much of what Redon would create was conjured from his imagination. He described his style as follows: ""My originality consists in bringing to life, in a human way, improbable beings and making them live according to the laws and probability, by putting- as far as possible- the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible.""