COLLECTION: Paintings

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"Gladiolus tabatus Glayel commun" (no title)

1802-1805
Origin: France
Framed H: 27 1/2" Framed W: 22 3/8"
Watercolor on vellum
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Beck
Acc. No. 1991-635,A&B
Plant is in the gladiola family. Painting depicts one stem with green spikey leaves and small flowers that are white with deep pink and lighter pink highlights.
Label:Often regarded as the “Raphael of Flowers,” Pierre-Joseph Redouté was born in the Belgian Ardennes in 1759. Upon his arrival in Paris, Redouté befriended L’Héritier de Broutelle, the botanist of the royal gardens of the king, who allowed him to spend his days sketching rare plants in the greenhouses. Despite his long career in France, Redouté’s work retained influence of Northern Dutch and Flemish painters.

Redoute painted all of the lilies in Josephine Bonaparte’s gardens at Malmaison. The 486 prints engraved from his paintings were published in eight folio volumes titled Les Liliacées. Although the engraving reflects the remarkable skill of the engravers, it does not match the watercolor in accuracy, luminosity, or radiance. The rich character of the vellum surface and Redouté’s mastery of drawing and coloring produced illustrations of unsurpassed delicacy and beauty.
Provenance:Purchased at Sotheby's in 1985 by W. Graham Arader.
Mark(s):Pierre-Joseph Redoute