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French flower painter Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759–1840) devoted himself exclusively to capturing the diversity of flowering plants in watercolour paintings which were then published as copper engravings, with careful botanical descriptions. The darling of wealthy Parisian patrons including Napoleon’s wife Josephine, he was dubbed “the Raphael of flowers”, and is regarded to this day as a master of botanical illustration.
This elegant catalogue brings together all engravings from Redouté’s illustrations of Roses and Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs et Quelques Branches des plus Beaux Fruits (Selection of the Most Beautiful Blooms and Branches with the Finest Fruits) and the most astounding images from The Lilies. Offering a vibrant overview of Redouté’s admixture of accuracy and beauty, it is also a privileged glimpse into the magnificent gardens and greenhouses of a bygone Paris.
Hans 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.