The revered tradition of botanical illustration dates back to the Renaissance. It emerged from the desire to catalog nature in its unpredictable splendor, and the process demanded the most precise and talented of artists.
With a remarkable skill that captured the most intricate subjects in nature, Pierre-Joseph Redouté is widely considered the best painter and engraver of botanical illustration. Working from live plants rather than from the herbarium specimens gave his watercolors unusual subtlety and freshness. He was also an innovator in printing techniques, introducing “stipple-engraving” to France, always striving for greater exactitude in his art. Redouté fortuitously acquired some of the most influential patrons of the time, including Marie Antoinette and Empress Josephine Bonaparte, thus ensuring that his work was well-funded and displayed.His impressive collection comprises over 2,000 paintings of plants rendered with great accuracy and strict adherence to nature. In this exquisite edition of Les Roses, Redouté turns his attention to the most romantic, desirable, and evocative flower. Originally published in three volumes between 1817 and 1824, it remains his most famous and celebrated work.