The Floral Art of Pierre-Joseph Redouté
Pierre Joseph Redoute (1759-1840) is unquestionably the best known botanical artist of any era. Described as both the "Rembrandt" and the "Raphael" of flowers by 19th century writers, Redoute brought the tradition of botanical painting to its apogee. Born in the Belgian Ardennes, he studied the work of earlier Flemish and Dutch floral artists, and when in Paris studied botany. He was given special access to the gardens at Versailles by Marie Antoinette, and to those of Malmaison by the Empress Josephine.
His greatest works are his carefully observed and supremely delicate watercolors on vellum and parchment, but he also painted in oils and illustrated more than 50 botanical books with color prints. This book accompanies an exhibition of his work in the USA, which opens in July at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, before traveling to the Kimbell Musuem in Fort Worth and then to the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia.