Pierre Joseph Redoute
PIERRE-JOSEPH REDOUTE, Belgian (1759-1840)
Redouté, aptly nicknamed the Raphael of Flowers is famous for his masterful botanical watercolor paintings which were the basis for Les Liliaceés and Les Roses. These botanical works used a delicate color printed stipple engraving technique and are some of the most magnificent examples of their kind.
Born in 1759 in Belgium Redouté went to Paris as a young man to live and work with his older brother Antoine Ferdinand who was a set painter. In 1786 he worked at the Museum National d'histoire Naturelle cataloging botanical specimens. In 1793 at the French National Botanical Gardens, Jardin du Roi he studied under Gerard Van Spaendonck perfecting the elegant marriage of art and science that exemplifies his work.
His botanical works are depicted in a remarkably natural manner. The velvet texture of the petals and the waxy green leaves are shown with brilliant detail. Redouté' talents secured him the patronage of Napoleon and Josephine, whose financial resources gave him the luxury of producing some of the most lavish flower illustrations ever produced. He was as politically adept as he was with a brush surviving the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror in France unscathed.
Two of his best loved works depicting Lilies and Roses are the Les Liliaceés were published in Paris (1802-1816) and Les Roses 1817-1824.
He died in 1840 and is buried in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.