Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pierre-Joseph Redouté and his flowers

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Loretta reports:

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.


Vanessa Kelly said...


I look forward to something more on Description de l'Egypte. I had no idea of the scale of the project. I'm assuming its publication had a lot to do with the Regency's fascination with Egypt?

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

No one paints flowers like Redoute, and these are esp. welcome after the Frost Fair yesterday.

I hadn't thought about the "charm" factor, Loretta, but you're right. No matter how talented, a successful artist needs to be able to charm his patrons. Having prospered through such perilous times, and through such very different patrons, Redoute must have had charm to spare!

nightsmusic said...

I pick up the occasional repro of his prints at a monthly auction/craft show/antique sale. I love these prints and have several on the walls thanks to the dealer in Saline. Lovely pictures.

I'm so glad he managed to survive the ups and downs of court intrigues. It would have been a great loss.

Linda Banche said...

I love flowers and these pictures are beautiful. Good for us that he survived. I'm sure there were others, equally talented, but less charming, who didn't.

LorettaChase said...

I see a blog on the French expedition to Egypt in the near future. Reading about it made me aware of the level of talent Napoleon took with him. That too made me appreciate the importance of charm for surviving difficult times & characters.

ConnieG said...

Beautiful! Makes me ready for spring & seed catalogs!

Rowenna said...

I love Redoute! As a poor college student I bought a Redoute calendar at half price in February just for the prints, and tore then out and framed them. Thanks for posting!

LorettaChase said...

Rowenna, you're a girl after my own heart. When I saw the Dover CD/ROM on sale, I couldn't resist. And now I want more!

Forrest said...

I am outside of Atlanta. I have tried and tried to find out info on a P.J.Redoute print that I have as far as if it has any value or not and how much I could sell it for,
It is marked as follows

left bottom right bottom

Peint par P.J.Redoute' Lith par F. Courtin

Rose Cent feuilles simple et Gallardia
No. 82
Any info you may provide would be greatly appreciated
Thanking you in advance

LorettaChase said...

Forrest, have you tried the online gallery sites? Here's one:
You could email them.

Janet said...

Forrest, I have the same print, and was copying it in colored pencil when I decided to research Redoute, and came across this blog.

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