Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Redouté's Flora

Fritillaire imperiale

Cyrlanthus obliquus

Bengale The hymenee

Bouquet de Pensees

Dalhia double

Dianthus caryophyllus

Enkianthus quinqueflorus

Franboisier rubus

Gentiana acaulis

Geranium variete

Iris fimbriata

Ixia tricolore

Lathyrus odoratus

Nymphaea caerulea

Primula auricula a

Ribes rubrum

Redouté flower stipple engravings

"The Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs (Selection of the most beautiful flowers) is the masterpiece of [Pierre-Joseph] Redouté’s later years. This most celebrated of botanical artists (1759-1840) came from a Belgian family of painters, and served [..] as drawing master to the queens and princesses of France for half a century. Among his pupils were Louise and Marie d’Orléans, to whom the Choix was dedicated: the latter became the first Queen of the Belgians. Over his eighty years, Redouté weathered the many changes in French society with remarkable ease, prospering under old and new regimes by adjusting to the times.

The great multivolume folio scientific monographs of his middle period – the roses, the lilies, the succulent plants – were complemented in his later years by elegant quarto albums that featured selections of the more beautiful or striking plants. They were, essentially, art books of the highest quality. The finest of these, the Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs was issued in 36 parts between 1827 and 1833, with 144 superb hand-colored stipple engravings, of fruit as well as flowers. It is notable, too, for its retrospective preface, in which Redouté reflects on his life and achievements." [source]

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