Empress Josephine had a passion for flowers and spent much time and money in creating gardens at Malmaison, Saint-Cloud, Versailles and Sèvres. Being employed by the Empress, Redouté had open access to these gardens. While this series was not directly commissioned by her, without her patronage the work surely would never have come to fruition. Knowing that a work such as Les Liliacées would greatly please his patron, Redouté presented his original drawings in a bound volume to the Empress.
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