Thursday, August 27, 2009

Redouté's Flora

Fritillaire imperiale

Cyrlanthus obliquus

Bengale The hymenee

Bouquet de Pensees

Dalhia double

Dianthus caryophyllus

Enkianthus quinqueflorus

Franboisier rubus

Gentiana acaulis

Geranium variete

Iris fimbriata

Ixia tricolore

Lathyrus odoratus

Nymphaea caerulea

Primula auricula a

Ribes rubrum

Redouté flower stipple engravings

"The Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs (Selection of the most beautiful flowers) is the masterpiece of [Pierre-Joseph] Redouté’s later years. This most celebrated of botanical artists (1759-1840) came from a Belgian family of painters, and served [..] as drawing master to the queens and princesses of France for half a century. Among his pupils were Louise and Marie d’Orléans, to whom the Choix was dedicated: the latter became the first Queen of the Belgians. Over his eighty years, Redouté weathered the many changes in French society with remarkable ease, prospering under old and new regimes by adjusting to the times.

The great multivolume folio scientific monographs of his middle period – the roses, the lilies, the succulent plants – were complemented in his later years by elegant quarto albums that featured selections of the more beautiful or striking plants. They were, essentially, art books of the highest quality. The finest of these, the Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs was issued in 36 parts between 1827 and 1833, with 144 superb hand-colored stipple engravings, of fruit as well as flowers. It is notable, too, for its retrospective preface, in which Redouté reflects on his life and achievements." [source]


Ana said...

Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!

Thank you so much for this post.

Christiane said...


bregman said...

Very lovely. I'd like like to take a closer look, but permissions seem to be limited on flickr...

peacay said...

Thanks. Bregman, sorry: I usually link through to the full size version (I use half and half auto-generated and manual editing for the image code and don't quite know why I put "l" instead of "o" in the click through URL). When you click through on an image there should be a link up the top to the original full-size version.

Alternatively (perhaps I should have mentioned this, but I have not actually looked through their site) that Octavo link at the end of the quotation at the beginning of the commentary above should allow you to load a different version of the book as thumbnail images -- turn off pop-up blockers -- and you can click through to large-ish images.
Or you could download the ~40Mb pdf from the Biodiversity Heritage Library or you can page-by-page go through their edition with jpeg images that can be enlarged.

bregman said...

Thanks peacay. The Biodiversity Heritage Library is a great resource.

The flickr issue was actually an error I'm getting: "This photo is private. Oops! You don't have permission to view this photo". They don't seem to appear in your photostream either; I wonder if it's just a privacy setting for that upload?

peacay said...

That goes down as about the stupidest thing I've ever done (well that is noticeable anyway). I usually try to follow a routine of a few fairly simple things at the time I make a post live, one of which is to change the image permissions.

IT IS NOW DONE! Sorry about that but thanks for letting me know.

bregman said...

No worries. And thank you for all your hard work in creating one of the best sites on the entire internet!

Anonymous said...

Looking at the Biodiversity Heritage site I noticed that some plates have been wiped with colored inks as well as water colored. I thought that might be so because the colors seemed so transparent in some as opposed to having that that slightly dusky grey look. It would be tricky to ink an entire plate with mixed colored inks ,but these are combinations of inking and coloring. See the center of plate 17 which is red in and yellow watercolor, plates 28 and 43 peaches have red ink; plate 30 has green and brown ink. Then look at plate 44 which is neutral grey or black ink with watercolor.

MeganH said...

If you care to pop to


...well - I'd like to do many more.
is similar, but not Redoute.

You put up a red peony, and that has spoken to me before when I've been communing with M. R.

Trish Burr, embroideress, did the translation from paint to thread for the above, but next time I think I'd like to do it myself

Unknown said...

I open your blog regularly for inspiration. You're helping me find a whole new artistic life. Kudos for the best blog on the web!

Studio Fludd said...

...yes, definitely one of the best blogs on the web! thanks.

Robin Sanchez said...

These are beautiful!!

Thanks for sharing

jf said...


nice piece.I'm interested in such works for a small creative book project.
Do you know who holds the copywrite ?

Thanks j

peacay said...

I don't provide definitive advice on copyright.

But I suspect this book is in the public domain. Perhaps contact the BHL (origin of digital files) and seek their advice.

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