Plate 28 from Les Liliacées (Lilies)
French, 19th century?
After Pierre-Joseph Redouté
French, born Southern Netherlands, 1759–1840
Born into a family of artists in the town of Saint-Hubert, then a part of the Southern Netherlands but today a municipality in Belgium, Pierre-Joseph Redouté traveled to Paris in 1782 to work with his brother as a designer of scenery in the theater. He soon turned his attention to botanical illustration, a growing profession in the later years of the eighteenth century, when the introduction of scientific nomenclature necessitated the role of artists capable of producing accurately drawn and colored drawings for the many studies of flora and fauna underway. Redouté’s skills, and connections, brought him to the attention of the highest levels of the French aristocracy, including Marie Antoinette, for whom he served as court painter, and, after the French Revolution, Empress Joséphine, who funded several of Redouté’s publications during the early years of the nineteenth century.
Les Liliacées, produced in eight volumes over fourteen years in collaboration with numerous botanists who penned the scientific texts, was, together with his Roses, Redouté’s crowning achievement. As many as sixteen printmakers were engaged to engrave the 486 plates needed for the project. Some, such as Jean-Baptiste Chapuy, were well-traveled specialists in the field of botanical engraving. Others, such as the artist responsible for producing the print on view here, are known today only by their name as it appears on the sheets.
Object inscriptions: in plate: top right: 28.; bottom center: Ferraria Undulata Ferraria Ondulée.; bottom left: P. J. Redouté pinx.; bottom right: De Gouy sculp.