Pierre Joseph Redouté Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs 1827
P.J. Redouté (1759-1840) served as Royal Court artist to Queen Marie Antoinette and after surviving the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, he went on to become the offical artist of Empress Josephine. Redouté left home at an early age to become an itenerant decorative painter. After relocating to Paris, he came to the attention of the famed Dutch botanical artist, Gerard van Spaendonck, who taught Redoute and who strongly influenced his artistic development, particularly in the art of composition and in the use of water color. Redouté was a proponent of the stipple method of engraving; this lends his work a most beautiful luminescent quality as well as providing the mechanism by which to showcase Redoute's virtuosic botanical illustrations. The Belgian-born painter ultimately produced over 2,000 published botanical plates in the course of his career. The major botanical works (all large format, folio size) for which he is known: Choix des Plus Fleurs, 1827, Les Roses, 1824. Les Lilacées, 1816 and Traité des arbres que l'on cultive en France, par Duhamel (du Monceau) Nouvelle édition; avec des figures, d'aprés les dessins de P J Redouté, 1819, a particularly important work that contains 496 of the most remarkable illustrations of fruit ever produced. Of the Choix des Plus Fleurs, Gordon Dunthorne said "A superb work, one of the finest of all collections of flower prints, showing to full advantage the brilliancy of colour printing."
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