The Old Print Shop

Pierre-Joseph Redoute


Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759 – 1840). Painter and botanist from Belgium. Best remembered for his watercolors of roses, lilies and other flowers. Many of were published as large, colored stipple engravings. He was nicknamed "the Raphael of flowers" and has referred to as the greatest botanical illustrator of all time. Redoute was an official court artist of Marie Antoinette, and continued painting through the French Revolution and Reign of Terror. He survived the turbulent political upheaval to gain international recognition for his precise renderings of plants, which remain as fresh in the early 21st century as when first painted. He combined great artistic skills with a pleasing, ingratiating personality which assisted him with his influential patrons. After Queen Marie-Antoinette, his patrons included both of Napoleon's wives – Empress Josephine and Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma. Many of Redoute’s works were turned in print form by some of the finest engravers of the day, Langlois, Bessin, Chapuy and Victor. These talented printmakers utilized a technique called, a la poupee, which is printing using different color inks on a single plate. The technique was developed in the 16th century and was brought to perfection with Redoutes flowers.