Floral forms: The finest work of the "Raphael of flowers"
The tradition of botanical illustration reaches back to the Renaissance. It reflected a desire to document nature in all its detail, variety and splendour, and demanded the most precise skill of an artist.
French flower painter Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840) devoted himself exclusively to the botanical arts, capturing the diversity of flowering plants in watercolor paintings which were then published as copper engravings. A darling of Parisian high society, he was dubbed “the Raphael of flowers,” with a network of élite patrons, including Napoleon's Josephine.
Now, TASCHEN reprints Redouté's Choix des plus belles fleures et quelques branches des plus beaux fruits (Selection of the Most Beautiful Blooms and Branches with the Finest Fruits), in which the artist gathered 144 hand-colored stipple engravings of his finest work. First issued between 1827 and 1833, the collection showcases Redouté's combination of exquisite elegance and accuracy, and transports the reader to a bygone era of magnificent Parisian gardens and greenhouses.
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