Details: REDOUTÃ‰, Pierre-Joseph (1759-1840). Antholyza proealta / Antholyze elevÃ©e [Flames, Flag Lily]. [Pl. 387]. Paris: Imprimerie de Didot jeune, 1802-16. Stipple engraving, printed in colour and finished by hand, engraved by de Gouy. Sheet size: 20 5/8 x 13 5/8 inches.
Pierre-Joseph RedoutÃ© was one of the world's great flower painters. Born into a family that had been painters for at least two generations, RedoutÃ© went to Paris in 1782 with his brother where they worked as scene painters for the ThÃ©Ã¢tre italien. RedoutÃ© painted flowers in his spare time. The search for subjects led him to the Jardin du Roi and eventually Gerard van Spaendonck who made him an assistant. While at the Jardin du Roi, RedoutÃ© came to know Charles-Louis L'Heritier, an amateur botanist and writer of independent means. He gave RedoutÃ© a full time job as an illustrator, instructing him in plant anatomy. RedoutÃ©'s "functional" understanding of plants contributed greatly to the clarity of his depictions. But it was RedoutÃ©'s work in stipple engraving and colour printing that was to be of the greatest importance. Stippling and the application of two or three colour inks to one plate were engraving innovations that RedoutÃ© brought to French printmaking, and these were brought to perfection in Les LiliacÃ©es from which this work comes.
Les LiliacÃ©es is one of two RedoutÃ© masterworks, the other being Les Roses. These works demonstrate the appropriateness of the accolade "Raphael of Flowers", for one is constantly impressed by the exquisite compositional sense and clarity of vision. More than with any other painter, one sees in RedoutÃ©'s flowers living, breathing beings at their most beautiful moment.
Cf. Nissen BBI 1597; cf.Great Flower Books (1990), p 128; cf. Dunthorne p 231; cf. Stafleu & Cowan TL2 8747; cf. MacPhaeil, Redouteana, 10.
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