Saturday, March 28, 2009


File:Lilium superbum (Lithographie, Pierre-Joseph Redoute).jpg

Since both Marie-Antoinette and Empress Josephine had an interest in gardens it is not surprising that each patronized the botanical artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Redouté survived the Revolution to become famous in the Napoleonic era. He is particularly famous for his exquisite roses and lilies. According to Global
Over his long career, Redouté painted the gardens at the Petit Trianon of Queen Marie-Antoinette as her official court artist and, during the revolution and Reign of Terror, he was appointed to document gardens which became national property. However, during the patronage of the generous Empress Josephine, Redouté's career flourished and he produced his most sumptuous books portraying plants from places as distant as Japan, South Africa and Australia as well as Europe and America.
After Josephine's death, Redouté's significant fortunes fell until appointed as a master of design for the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle in 1822 and awarded a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur in 1825. Although particularly renowned for his botanical exploration of roses and lilies, he thereafter produced paintings purely for aesthetic poses including the celebrated "Choix des plus belles Fleurs."



Katy said...

These are so beautiful!

May said...

Really lovely! Thanks.

Lucy said...

Thanks for this wonderful post, Elena. I am actually planning a post related to this about Malmaison. We're on the same wave length:)

tubbs said...

Dear EM, Ms.Lucy, and Gentle Readers:
Is it true that Josephine's gardener (Hardy?) was able to get English rose varieties for Jo's garden at Malmaison thru the blockade???

elena maria vidal said...

I don't know. Anyone?

Florence said...

I found and read the 1974 bio of Pierre-Joseph Redoute by Antonia Ridge: The Man Who Painted Roses.
A fascinating histor of France and the painter from his birth in 1759 to this death in 1840. I recommend it to anuone who loves flowers and/or is interested in the history of France at its most tempestuous.

May said...

The "Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs" was dedicated to Louise-Marie and Marie d'Orléans, Redouté's pupils. Later on, in his old age, Redouté would receive a prestigious honor (one among many) from Louise-Marie's husband, Leopold I of Belgium. I imagine this must have meant a great deal to the artist, who was himself from the Belgian areas.