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The Best Books about Botanical Artists & Illustrators

Updated on November 9, 2015
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Katherine is well known worldwide for writing extensively about botanical art & illustration and botanical artists past and present

This is a crop of "Flos solismaior" (1616) which is a Large Sunflower created by Basilius Besler in 1616
This is a crop of "Flos solismaior" (1616) which is a Large Sunflower created by Basilius Besler in 1616

Find out about Famous and Outstanding Botanical Artists

If you love botanical art and want to know more about some of the important the artists - in the past and present - who have created botanical art and illustration then this is the site for you.

This site highlights key events in the story of botanical art and focuses on the best books about specific and outstanding Botanical Artists.

Read reviews about the best books about famous botanical artists and painters of flowers in the past and present.

Companion sites include:

A Botanical Bibliophile

Botanical Art History - a few of my books
Botanical Art History - a few of my books

I have had a passion for botanical art for a very long time.

As I grew up, I began to collect books about the very best botanical art. I learned more, I got more interested, tried to see more, learned more, bought more books - and so it has been going now for some 40 odd years! Now

  • I exhibit my artwork at the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists,
  • write about botanical art on my blog Making A Mark and on video
  • interview gold medal winners at the exhibitions put by the Royal Horticultural Society,
  • review botanical art books,
  • create websites about the art and the artists and
  • generally am followed by a lot of people around the world who appreciate how I share information about artists and artwork.

All done because of my love of for botanical art!

On this website I'm sharing the best books about a number of different but very important botanical artists - who all excelled or made a mark on the world of botanical art.

The intention is to build this list up to 20 books relating to artists from the past - so if there are any books you reckon are worth highlighting

DO PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT. I have a long list of possibles but am always very happy to hear about books I've not yet encountered!

20th & 21st CENTURY BOTANICAL ARTISTS

Rory McEwen

1932 - 1982Botanical painter and musician

About Rory McEwen

Rory McEwen was one of the best botanical artists that the UK has ever produced. He painted the flawless and the less than perfect with equal precision and artistic flair. His paintings were always works of art.

He was also one of the most importance influences on the development of contemporary botanical art - across the world.

He started painting flowers when he was only eight years old. His talent was recognised by Wilfred Blunt who taught him art at Eton but McEwen had no formal art school training. However Blunt pointed McEwen in the direction of the masters of botanical painting from the past (e.g. Ehret see below) and he learned from them all he needed to become an exceptional botanical artist.

His early suites of paintings, e.g. of old species of carnations and pinks, are simply stunning - and are displayed in this book. After an early career in music and television, he became a full-time visual artist in 1964

He developed a unique style for his paintings.

  • First he always painted on vellum.
  • Second he often painted larger than life in later years - but using the techniques of a miniaturist.
  • Third he was unafraid of white space. A number of his botanical paintings show have the subject of the painting floating as if in space - with the space enabling us to recognise and focus on the unique attributes of each flower or leaf or other aspect of a plant.

In terms of subject matter:

  • he created series of paintings of heritage species of flowers
  • he painted single leaves in minute detail and, for many, he highlighted the beauty of leaves - even when they are imperfect.

He developed cancer and later paintings of leaves both record places special to him and reflect his fight with the disease.

In 2013 Kew Gardens held a special retrospective exhibition of his work called The Colours of Reality. The exhibition also included artwork by the artists he influenced. The exhibition was extremely popular with both botanical artists in the UK and those who love botanical art. Botanical artists from all over the world flew into London to see this exhibition!

Rory McEwen The Colours Of Reality - by Martin Rix

Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars based on 11 customer reviews in the UK and 5 reviews in the USA

This is the Catalogue for a landmark exhibition at Kew Gardens about the paintings of Rory McEwen.It's also the only contemporary book about the botanical artwork of Rory McEwen (1932-1982)

The author Martin Rix is the editor of Curtis's Botanical Magazine and the author of numerous books about botanical art.

Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality
Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality

Paperback: 216 pages

Publisher: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

May 7, 2013 - UK

July 15, 2013 - USA

 

Arthur Harry Church

1865 - 1937

Botanist and Botanical Illustrator

About Arthur Harry Church

Arthur Harry Church was a botanist who began to illustrate to demonstrate his findings.

Born in 1865, he studied Botany at Aberystwyth University and graduated with a first class degree (in 1891) which earned him a scholarship to Oxford University where he spent the rest of his life. From 1908 to 1930 when he retired he held the title of Lecturer in Botany.

Church focused on morphology and the structure of plants. His drawings of the morphology of flowers and plants are considered to be some of the finest in the UK

He became very knowledgeable about how flowers systems worked - but never travelled as other botanists did to see plants in their natural habitats.

Church's particular skill was in developing techniques for examination of flowers and plants in ways which revealed all their inner structures while leaving all the parts with crisp sharp edges in his illustrations of cross-sections and diagrams. He was also meticulous in the way he painted and developed techniques which allowed him to maintain precision in his illustrations as well as his dissections.

In 1908 he published Part 1 of Types of Floral Mechanism which was intended to be the first volume of an account of "The Hundred Best Flowers" as a way of providing a general explanation of floral morphology. However his insistence on the quality of the reproduction of the illustrations - and associated costs - meant that no further volumes were published.

He died in Oxford in 1937 aged 72. His portfolio of botanical illustrations of the internal structures and morphology of flowers lay in the Museum of Natural History for several decades prior to the publication of this book by David Mabberly in 2000.

Arthur Harry Church:The Anatomy of Flowers
Arthur Harry Church:The Anatomy of Flowers

Hardcover: 128 pages

Publisher: Merrell (October 2000)

 

Arthur Harry Church: The Anatomy of Flowers

Rated an average of 5.0 out of 5 stars based on 2 customer reviews (USA) and 1 customer review (UK)

This stunning book uses previously unpublished material from the Library of the Natural History Museum to reveal the fascinating story of Church's life and work.

Contemporary Botanical Artists

A Resurgence in Botanical Art

Contemporary art combined with science

Botanical Art has experienced a major resurgence of interest in recent years. This section on contemporary artists focuses on those artists whose work has featured in major exhibitions of botanical art and associated catalogues and compendia about contemporary botanical art published in the 21st century.

One of the interesting aspects of botanical artists in the last 100 years is the extent to which they have looked back to the traditions of botanical art and the masters of the past - and, at the same time, created innovations of their own.

One of the prime movers of the resurgence is Dr. Shirley Sherwood who might be considered to be a major patron of contemporary botanical art. In recent years, she has been amassing a very large collection of botanical art. She was also instrumental in the new Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. She is also the author of a number of books about botanical art. In 2012 she received an OBE for services to Botanical Art.Increasingly botanical art is looking to botany as well as art to guide the practice of botanical art.

New Flowering: 1000 Years of Botanical Art
New Flowering: 1000 Years of Botanical Art

Paperback: 200 pages

Publisher: Ashmolean Museum;

1St Edition edition (October 11, 2006)

 

New Flowering: 1000 Years of Botanical Art - by Shirley Sherwood

I own this book and I really like it. The interesting thing about this book is it places artwork by contemporary botanical artists against those of past masters. Thus we see:

  • Fritillaria Imperialis painted by both Rory McEwen (in 1965) and Pierre Redoute (in 1802)
  • Papaver painted by Elizabeth Blackwell (in 1737) and Bridgid Edwards (in 1999)

If you just turn the pages looking at the pictures and not reading the annotations it's sometimes very difficult to tell which is the contemporary painting and which is the painting from the past master.

This is also an exhibition catalogue for the major exhibition of botanical art at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in 2005.

A Passion for Plants: Contemporary Botanical Masterworks
A Passion for Plants: Contemporary Botanical Masterworks

Paperback: 264 pagesPublisher: Seven Dials (March 1, 2003)

 

A Passion for Plants: Contemporary Botanical Masterworks - By Shirley Sherwood

Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars based on 4 customer reviews (USA)

This book includes works by over 80 different contemporary painters living in 20 different countries. All the artists are ones whose work has been collected by Dr. Shirley Sherwood whose collection of botanical art is now exhibited at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.

I own this book and I tend to regard it as something of a Directory of some of the best people creating botanical paintings and illustrations.

Botanical Artists from the Past

These are all important botanical artists and painters of flowers from the past. The artists are organised according to era.

The Art of Botanical Illustration: An Illustrated History
The Art of Botanical Illustration: An Illustrated History

Paperback (372 pages) - this is the 4th reprint

published by Dover Publications in 1994

Ranks #2 in Science illustration

Given the date of publication, this book is typically only available as a second-hand book. Care should be taken to identify the edition when reviewing prices being asked.

 

The Art of Botanical Illustration: An Illustrated History - by Wilfrid Blunt

This book - first published in 1950 - is probably one of the more famous books about the history of botanical art and botanical artists.

Wilfrid Blunt (1901 - 1987), art historian and the art teacher at Eton School (where he taught Rory McEwen) collaborated with the botanist and author of 'Botanical Latin' William T. Stearn (1911-2001) to write The Art of Botanical Illustration. Together Blunt and Stearns won the prestigious Veitch Gold Medal from The Royal Horticultural Society, which is awarded each year for "to persons of any nationality who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the art, science or practice of horticulture."

This edition - which was published in 1994 - have been revised and more content had been added. It's still considered to be a classic work, is recommended as a reference and it's quite difficult to get hold of a copy for a reasonable sum.

This books tells the complete story of the evolution of botanical illustration over a period of some 3,000 years. It provides a "comprehensive, critical and well illustrated survey" of how plants and flowers have been illustrated over time.

It represents a benchmark in terms of documenting botanical illustration and artists included in this book are worth noting.

Treasures of Botanical Art: Icons from the Shirley Sherwood and Kew Collections
Treasures of Botanical Art: Icons from the Shirley Sherwood and Kew Collections

Paperback: 272 pages

Publisher: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew;

1St Edition edition (January 1, 2008)

 

Treasures of Botanical Art: Icons from the Shirley Sherwood and Kew Collections - Shirley Sherwood (Author), Martyn Rix (Author)

Rated an average of 5.0 out of 5 stars based on 5 customer reviews in the UK and 1 customer review in the USA

Read my book review - Treasures of Botanical Art - a recommended read

Treasures of Botanical Art by Shirley Sherwood and Martyn Rix was published by Kew Publishing to mark the inaugural exhibition of the The Shirley Sherwood Gallery in Kew Gardens, the first gallery in the world to be dedicated to year round exhibitions of botanical art.

Early Herbals and Florilegia

Illustrated records of plants and flowers were first made in books called Herbals. These were used by doctors as inventories for medicating patients - and early botanical illustration focused on enabling the accurate identification of plants for medicinal purposesA Florilegium provides an illustrated record of all the plants found in one place such as a garden

Leonart Fuchs

(1501 - 1566)

Learn about German herbalist Leonhart Fuchs

Portrait of Leonart Fuchs By Heinrich Fllmaurer (ttig um 1530/40) (Wrttembergisches Landesmuseu, Stuttgart) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Leonhart Fuchs (1501 - 10 May 1566) is best known for the development and publication of one of the very important early Herbals in 1543.

He was born in Bavaria in Germany at the height of the German Renaissance. He was a serious student and matriculated at the University of Erfurt at the age of fourteen. He developed his knowledge of classic and Latin and then took a medical degree.He subsequently became both a physician and a botanist and is now regarded as one of the three German fathers of botany

With the publication of The New Herbal he also became a noted author .

Leonhart Fuchs: The New Herbal of 1543 - by Klaus Dobat and Werner Dressendorfer

The "De historia stirpium commentarii insignes" (or, 'Notable commentaries on the history of plants') was first published by Leonhart in 1542. The plants which were illustrated were those identified by Dioscorides, Hippocrates and Galen, the classical Greek and Roman writers in their writings on medicine and materia medica.

In total 497 plants - comprising a mix of wild and domestic species - were illustrated using over 500 woodcuts.Fuchs ordered his plants alphabetically according to their names in Greek. Botanical Latin hadn't yet been invented!

The importance of this particular herbal is the quality of the drawings and the way that it signalled that paying attention to the quality of the illustration was vital when illustrating plants used for medicine.

Basilius Besler

1561-1629Creator of the largest ever florilegium - the botanical art record of one garden

About Basilius Besler - Famous Botanical Artist

About Basilius Besler - Famous Botanical Art Publisher - Basilius Besler (1561-1629) is best known for compiling the book known as the "Hortus Eystettensis" which is the first ever Florilegium to be created.

It documented and illustrated all the plants grown in the garden of the prince bishop of Eichsttt in Bavaria. This was the only important European botanical garden outside Italy and Besler was its curator.

His Florilegium created a new trend in documenting where plants are grown in gardens. This practice continues to this day with many botanical art societies involving themselves in creating a florilegium of a specific garden. One such Florilegium of the garden at Highgrove was created for the Prince of Wales for his 60th birthday.

The Book of Plants: The Complete Plates (Taschen 25th Anniversary Series)
The Book of Plants: The Complete Plates (Taschen 25th Anniversary Series)

Hardcover: 443 pagesPublisher: Taschen; 25th edition (January 1, 2007)The most famous botanical record ever committed to paper: Basilius Besler's complete Book of Plants of 1613. This facsimile's reproductions - structured by seasons - are taken from a hand-painted edition, one of only a few still extant. In auction, the asking price for a first edition copy is half a million dollars. You can now enjoy its unique qualities for somewhat less.

 

The Book of Plants: The Complete Plates - Taschen 25th Anniversary Series

This is the most famous botanical record ever committed to paper.

Basilius Besler's The Complete Book of Plants - completed in 1613 - is the largest botanical record of one garden ever recorded on paper.

It records 1,084 drawings of 667 species on 367 hand-coloured copper engravings - and a team of 10 engravers supervised by Besler took over 16 years to complete the book. The book is now over 400 years old and although the garden was later destroyed, it survives as a result of this book. It was also used to help reconstruct the gardens in 1998.

This facsimile's reproductions - structured by seasons - are taken from a hand-painted edition. In auction, the asking price for a first edition copy is half a million dollars. You can now enjoy its unique qualities for somewhat less!

An important aspect of this books is that the "Hortus Eystettensis" (the correct name for the book), Basilius Besler changed botanical art overnight for the following reasons:

  • it endeavoured to systematise the nomenclature of plants - although Besler based his system on Greek names rather than Latin
  • it was one of the first books to illustrate plants in printed form. Previous books would be copied manually.
  • it was the first book to document all the plants grown in a garden - and created the concept of a book known as a Florilegium.

Key features of the book - which the reproduction attempts to emulate - include:

  • Subject matter covered all the plants in the garden and spanned a large range with marked contrasts between e.g. native plants and plants from overseas; everyday garden plants and exotic plants; flowers and herbs and vegetables
  • The Plates depict plants at near life-size. This gives both a better sense of the plant and also enables those viewing the plates to see more detail
  • Despite being produced in the early 17th century the book is laid out in a way which would now be regarded as quite modern
  • First edition of 300 copies published in 1613 - and took 4 years to sell

Alexander Marshal

1620 - 1882an English entomologist, gardener and botanical artist

Alexander Marshal

Alexander Marshal was a gentleman gardener. He was fortunate to be financially independent and consequently everything he did was for his own pleasure. His focus was on gardening, flowers and plants, insects - and painting.

  • He enjoyed gardening and loved his plants - so much so that he cultivated and then studied rare plants
  • he developed his skills as a painter of plants, flowers and fruit and became known as a botanical illustrator
  • Like a lot of gardeners he also studied the insects he found in his garden and produced a 57 page album of watercolours of 127 insects
  • He also worked on a project to produce a florilegium which illustrated the life cycle of plants and his florilegium is the only one to survive which records an English garden in the 1600s.

Crown imperial, narcissi and auriculas by Alexander Marshal
Crown imperial, narcissi and auriculas by Alexander Marshal | Source
Mr. Marshal's Flower Book
Mr. Marshal's Flower Book

Hardcover: 192 pages published by Studio Press in 2008This book contains 140 illustrations selected from the original florilegium.

 

Mr. Marshal's Flower Book - Alexander Marshal & The Royal Collection

Rated an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars by 7 customer reviews

The original florilegium produced by Mr Alexander Marshal was presented to the King George IV and now forms part of the Royal Collection and is kept at Windsor Castle

This is a very early example of a man who painted flowers and plants for the sheer love of them

Exploration in the Age of Enlightenment

The Age of Enlightenment occurred during the 17th and 18th centuries and, amongst other aspects, involved the advancement of scientific knowledge through exploration and the discovery of new continents, lands, animals, plants and flowersA number of botanical illustrators earned their fame through their association with trips of exploration to foreign lands.

Maria Sibylla Merian

(1647 - 1717)Woman of Art and Science

Maria Sibylla Merian - Botanical & Natural History Artist

Maria Sibylla Merian was a Naturalist, Entymologist and Botanical Illustrator and is rated as being one of the greatest ever botanical artists.

She is best known for her illustrations of plants and insects made as a result of her trips to the tropical country of Suriname in northern South America (colonised by the Dutch in the 17th century and known as Dutch Guiana until 1954)

You can find out more about her in About Maria Sibylla Merian - Botanical & Natural History Artist. This contains a LOT more information about Maria Sibylla Merian, her travels, her artwork and her books

Illuminated copper engraving from Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Plate XLV. 1705 By Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)
Illuminated copper engraving from Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Plate XLV. 1705 By Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) | Source
Maria Sibylla Merian: Insects of Surinam
Maria Sibylla Merian: Insects of Surinam

Hardcover: 192 pages

Publisher: TASCHEN America Llc;

Mul edition (October 1, 2009)

 

Maria Sibylla Merian: Insects of Surinam - by: Katharina Schmidt-Loske

RECOMMENDED - Rated an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars by 6 customer reviews

I own this large book and it fulfils Taschen's normal high standards of quality content and production

This TASCHEN reprint of a hand-colored first edition copy of Merian's pioneering achievement and major work Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium.

This was the first ever work to document the natural history of Suriname and was originally published in 1705 both Dutch and Latin. A genuine first edition recently sold at Christies for 145,000 pounds sterling

The 60 copperplate engravings are designed to show the different stages of insect development. The insets are displayed alongside the the cultivated and wild plants where she found them during her travels in Surinam.

This reproduction includes the complete plates and a commentary by Katharina Schmidt-Loske. As is its practice where it can, Taschen have taken a hand-colored first edition copy of the The Insects of Surinam and have produced a high quality reproduction which I am happy to recommend as an excellent example of botanical illustration from an entomologist's perspective.

I personally find Merian's illustrations of plants and flowers to be absolutely fascinating. She was an entomologist by training, she of course includes all the insects and butterflies as her primary focus - and the plants and flowers are the necessary context for their existence.

Sydney Parkinson

(1745 - 1771)The artist on the Endeavour, sailed by Captain Cook to South America, Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia.

About Sydney Parkinson - Botanical Artist

About Sydney Parkinson - Botanical Artist - Sydney Parkinson was one of two artists and was the only botanical draughtsmen on board the Endeavour.

The Endeavour was the name of the ship commanded by Lieutenant James Cook on his first voyage of discovery, to Australia and New Zealand from 1769 to 1771.

He was the first botanical artist to draw and paint plants collected on the exploratory voyages and the first non-native artist to set foot in Australia

He created 743 watercolours of what he saw on the voyage - most of which are now lodged in the British Library.

Sydney Parkinson is an artist in the age of exploration who faced a few challenges which are not common today. He painted

  • in the tropics where the insects ate the paint and
  • on board ship where level and stable surfaces are difficult to find

Finally, he died due to the perils encountered on the voyage!

Sydney Parkinson: Artist of Cook's Endeavor Voyage - Hank Ebes (compiler)

The Banks' Florilegium consists of 743 botanical line engravings, after the watercolors drawn from nature by Sydney Parkinson.

It's incredibly difficult to find a book devoted to the artwork produced by Sydney Parkinson on his travels with Captain Cook. This book about the book is probably the best there is - but you almost certainly will need to buy a second-hand copy and may well have to wait for that!

As he died on the voyage, all the copperplate line engravings of plants and flowers - drawn by 18 engravers from his 743 completed watercolours - had to be organised by others, notably Joseph Banks of Kew Gardens. This work was done between 1771 and 1784 and Banks himself didn't live to see the finished work.

The Florilegium: Cook - Banks - Parkinson 1768-1771
The Florilegium: Cook - Banks - Parkinson 1768-1771

Publisher: British Museum (Natural History) in association with University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1983

 

More about Sydney Parkinson

There is very little information about Parkinson online or in books and my website (see above) continues to be a work in progress.

Impact of Linnaeus Classification on Botanical Illustration

A new system of scientific classification of plants was introduced in the eighteenth century by botanist Carl Linnaeus.

This changed the way plants were classified from one which was focused on the medicinal parts of plants - as illustrated in the Early Herbals - to a new system based on the sexual organs of plants.

The effect was to completely change the approach to and style of botanical illustration.

Georg Dionysius Ehret

(1708-1770)

developer of the Linnean style of botanical illustration

Learn about Georg Dionysius Ehret - Famous Botanical Artist

About Georg Dionysius Ehret - Famous Botanical Artist - Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708 - 1770) was a German-born artist who started off as a botanist and entomologist. However he became one of the most influential botanical artists of all time through his development of the Linnaean style of botanical illustration. He is now best known for his botanical illustrations and the approach he developed for recording facts about plants in illustrations.

Early on in his career, Ehret had the opportunity to work with Carl Linnaeus.The approach he developed as a result - now referred to as the Linnaean style - continues to provide a model for many botanical artists today. He used notebooks and sketchbooks to record his plants from life. Using these he then produced larger paintings in his studio. His notebooks show excellent botanical knowledge and are very good examples of scientific plant illustration done in the field

Ehret: Flower painter extraordinary : an illustrated biography - by Gerta Calmann

There aren't many books about Ehret, plus they're not easy to find even when you know what you're looking for. Finally, you have to be lucky to find one at a reasonable price!

I managed to buy a second-hand copy of this book this year at the Annual Botanical Art Exhibition by the RHS in the Horticultural Halls in Chelsea - for a very reasonable price - and was more than happy. It's a great book with some wonderful illustrations and I'm very lucky to have a copy!

Ehret: Flower Painter Extraordinary
Ehret: Flower Painter Extraordinary

Hardcover: 160 pagesPublisher: Phaidon; 1St Edition edition (1977)Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 9.6 x 0.9 inchesShipping Weight: 2.6 poundsIt's not small!

 

Botanical Artists & Gardens

Interest in plant illustration flourished in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Botanical artists latterly became associated with the development of great gardens - by botanical societies or the wealthy.

* Franz Bauer became botanical painter for the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew

* Pierre Redoute painted flowers for both Marie-Antoinette and the Empress Josephine Bonaparte

Franz Bauer

(1758 - 1840)"Botanick Painter to his Majesty"He drew all the new flowering plants at Kewas a result of explorations

About Franz Bauer

Franz Bauer was employed by Sir Joseph Banks as the resident botanical draughtsman at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. As such he was able to draw many of the plants arriving at Kew from explorations overseas.He was considered by many experts to be the greatest of all botanical artistsFind out more about him in my website below.

The Orchid Paintings of Franz Bauer

During his time as resident draughtsman at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. Bauer developed a particular fascination for orchids and started to series of paintings of orchids - and this book is one of the end results. It includes 63 colour reproductions of almost all his completed orchid paintings. The orchids come from Europe, North America, Australia and the Tropics.Joyce Stewart, the Sainsbury Orchid Fellow at Kew provides commentary on the history of the plant and its cultivation and a section on the structure and function of orchid flowers. The famous botanical historian, William T. Stearn includes a biography of Franz Bauer.I've finally managed to get hold of a copy of this and you can see it on my botanical art bookshelf at the top of the site!

The Orchid Paintings of Franz Bauer
The Orchid Paintings of Franz Bauer

Hardcover: 160 pagesPublisher: Timber Press, Incorporated (August 1, 1993)

 

Pierre Redoute

(1759-1840)Botanical artist and royal flower painter

About Pierre Redoute

About Pierre Redoute - Botanical Artist - Pierre-Joseph Redoute is one of the most popular of the Masters of Botanical Art.

Many people first become interested in botanical art because of the paintings of roses, lilies and other flowers produced by Pierre-Joseph Redout. He is one of the most talented botanical artists ever known.

During his career he worked for Royalty and Bonaparte. He painted over 1,800 different species which were, in turn, reproduced in over 2,100 published plates.

His two great works were

  • "Les Liliaces" (8 volumes 1802-1816) and
  • "Les Roses" (3 volumes 1817-1824).

He was born in 1759 in what is now Belgium and died in June 1840. His grave can be found in the Pre Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

During his career:

  • he was Marie Antoinette's art tutor and she became his patron. Redout received the title of "Draughtsman and Painter to the Queen's Cabinet".
  • in 1798 The Empress Josephine Bonaparte, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, also became his patron and appointed him to paint the flowers of the garden at Malmaison.
  • his works were exhibited in The Louvre

Redoute's Fairest Flowers - by Pierre-Joseph Redoute (Author) , Martyn Rix (Author) , William T. Stearn (Author)

Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by 3 customer reviews (USA) and 1 customer review (UK)

Redoute published a very big book Choix des plus belles fleurs et des plus beaux fruits in Paris in 1827. This is the book to reproduce the substantial contents of that book since that date. Each plate is accompanied by a commentary by on the origin and history of each plant and its present-day cultivation.

Redoute's Fairest Flowers
Redoute's Fairest Flowers

Hardcover: 1683 pagesPublisher: Prentice Hall Trade; 1 edition (October 1987)This is a very large and oversized hardback book with good reproduction values

 

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