Pierre-Joseph Redouté 1759 – 1840, was a painter and botanist from Belgium, known for his watercolours of roses, lilies and other flowers at Malmaison, many of which were published as large, color stipple engravings. He was nicknamed “the Raphael of flowers” and has been called the greatest botanical illustrator of all time.
Redouté collaborated with the greatest botanists of his day and participated in nearly fifty publications depicting both the familiar flowers of the French court and plants from places as distant as Japan, America, South Africa, and Australia. He worked from live plants rather than herbarium specimens, which contributed to his fresh, subtle renderings. He was painting during a period in botanical illustration (1798 – 1837) that is noted for the publication of outstanding folio editions with coloured plates. Redouté produced over 2,100 published plates depicting over 1,800 different species, many never rendered before. Of the French botanical illustrators employed in the French capital, Redouté is the one which remains in the public consciousness today. He is seen as an important heir to the tradition of the Flemish and Dutch flower painters Brueghel, Ruysch, van Huysum and de Heem.
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