Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Return Engagement: Pierre-Jospeh Redouté and his flowers

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Loretta reports:

[Things here in New England are viciously cold, making this a good time, I think, to revisit a warm posts  This one originally appeared in January 2010.]

Spring comes late to New England, and after days of snow, I’m ready for flowers.  The ones illustrated here are by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840).  He was a court painter to Marie Antoinette as well as the Empress Josephine.  After the latter fell out of favor, he got friendly with the Bourbons.  It’s no small feat to survive those sorts of political upheavals.  One must be extremely charming or extremely talented.  It’s clear he was talented, and I’m guessing he was charming, too.  He’s one in a long line of amazing artists from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Jane Austen’s World  offers a wonderful appreciation of Redouté.  If you scroll down the post, you’ll see his family in an entry from the 1889 Dictionary of Painters and Engravers.  At some online sites you’ll find Pierre confused with his brother Henri-Joseph, one of the naturalists on Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt.  The tale of the scientists and artists who created the Description de l’Egypte is a different, far more harrowing story—but with beautiful pictures—which I’ll get to one of these days. 

For now, though, let’s just enjoy the flowers.


Anonymous said...

Glad you brought him to our attention again. Lovely work. In this cold, bleak period, you might also want to revisit the extraordinary Mrs. DeLaney's flowers made of paper. Exquisite work. At this time of year most of us in the northern hemisphere can only enjoy paper gardens.

nightsmusic said...

I've always lusted over these prints when I've come across them at antique shows. When this set came up on Levenger's eBay outlet store:


I bought it! Gorgeous prints and I'll be framing several to hang.

Two Nerdy History Girls. Design by Pocket