Pierre-Joseph Redouté, ‘the Raphael of flowers’, was the most celebrated botanical artist of his day. His patrons included two Empresses and two Queens, and his prodigious talents placed him at the centre of French court life, both before and after the Revolution. He was appointed drawing master to Marie Antoinette, yet despite his connections to the Royal family he survived the Terror and went on to become the court and flower painter to Empress Joséphine on the 6 March 1805. It was because of her patronage that Redouté undertook Les Liliacées
, which together with Les Roses
, constitute the artist’s greatest works. Although Joséphine had died three years before the publication of Les Roses
, it was the unrivaled collection of roses on her estate at Malmaison that provided the artist with his inspiration.
The present work is an exquisite examples of Redouté’s achievements as a botanical painter, dating from the period when he was at the height of his artistic powers.
For another work by the artist see also the following lot.