Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759 –1840) was forever in high demand. Official court draftsman to Queen Marie-Antoinette (who purportedly summoned him at midnight to paint a cactus), and later a favorite of Joséphine Bonaparte, the artist brought flowers to the highest of places, and offset the chaotic upheaval of the French Revolution with the delicacy of perfectly drawn petals. This reprint brings together 144 examples of Redouté’s flower, branch, and fruit drawings. Originally published between 1827 and 1833, these precise yet tender illustrations are as delightful as they are informative, recording some of the most delicate plant specimens in the world and evoking the bygone magnificence of Parisian greenhouses and gardens.
Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840), was born in Saint-Hubert, now part of Belgium. An official court artist at Versailles, he gained international recognition for his watercolors of flowers and plants, publishing over 2,000 plates depicting over 1,800 species. Redouté perfected the technique of stipple engraving, using tiny dots of color rather than lines, facilitating subtle color variations in his work.
Werner Dressendörfer is a pharmaceutical historian, academic librarian, and former honorary Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. His particular spheres of interest are the history of the Early Modern herbal, the cultural history of useful and medicinal plants, and plant symbolism in art. He has published extensively on pharmaceutical and botanical history and is the author of TASCHEN’s The Garden at Eichstätt, The Lilies, Leonhart Fuchs: The New Herbal of 1543, Pomona Britannica, The Temple of Flora, and The Vegetable Garden.
H. Walter Lack is a Professor at the Free University of Berlin and former Director of the Botanical Gardens and Botanical Museum in Berlin-Dahlem. A leading expert in the history of botany, his research focuses on the global transfer of useful and ornamental plants from a cultural historical perspective. He is the author of TASCHEN’s Garden of Eden and The Book of Palms.