Redouté held the position of Royal Court artist to Queen Marie Antoinette; after the Revolution he was appointed official artist of Empress Josephine. Redouté left home in Belgium 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 Redouté and who had a strong influence in 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 gives 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 produced over 2,000 published botanical plates throughout 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 fruit illustrations ever produced.