We recently added several illustrations by famed botanical artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté to our flower print collections. During his time, Redouté was known as the ‘Raphael of flowers’ for his exquisite watercolors.
Born in Saint-Hubert, Luxembourg in 1759, Redouté came from a long line of painters. Both his father and grandfather were artists, and when Redouté was 13 he followed suit, leaving his home to provide for himself as a painter. Redouté roamed the country, taking commissions for religious and portrait paintings.
In 1782, Redouté became an interior decorator and scenery designer in Paris, where he met French botanist René Louiche Desfontaines, who convinced Redouté to become a botanical illustrator. Redouté quickly advanced in his career, and was eventually introduced the French royal court in Versailles. There, Redouté’s patrons included Marie Antoinette and Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais. During this time, Redouté mostly painted lilies and roses, and his skill allowed his him to survive tenuous periods in history, including the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror.
Over his lifetime, Redouté published over 2,100 plates depicting over 1,800 plant species – quite an impressive record.
To view some of Redouté's work, visit our flower print collection of our online store.
- Robert Donahue