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REDOUTÉ, Pierre-Joseph (1759-1840). Les Liliacées. Text by Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle (vols. I-IV), François Delaroche (vols. V-VI) and Alire Raffeneau-Delile (vols. VII-VIII)
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REDOUTÉ, Pierre-Joseph (1759-1840). Les Liliacées. Text by Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle (vols. I-IV), François Delaroche (vols. V-VI) and Alire Raffeneau-Delile (vols. VII-VIII). Paris: Imprimerie de Didot jeune for the author, 1802-1816.\n\n8 volumes, large 2° (508 x 340mm). Original front blank in vol. I, half-titles, dedication 'Au Citoyen Chaptal' in vol. I. Engraved portrait of Redouté by C. S. Pradier after Gerard, 487 STIPPLE-ENGRAVED PLATES PRINTED IN COLOURS AND FINISHED BY HAND (except plate 372, uncoloured as usual), by Bessin, Chapuy and others after Redouté, plates numbered 1 - 486, with 370/71 a single folding plate and two versions of plate 428 Narcissus Laetus, second state of plate 95 Tradescantia Virginica. (The plate numbers being printed close to the margin are often shaved, also imprint or titles, 17 plates shaved with slight or very slight loss to the image, some slight spotting and staining, particularly in the last volume and title to vol. VII, vols. VII & VIII with some light offsetting of text onto plates.) CONTEMPORARY RED STRAIGHT-GRAINED MOROCCO BOUND FOR THE DUCHESSE DE BERRY, with her arms blocked in gilt in the centre of the covers [Olivier 2554 fer 2], surrounded by an elaborate gilt and blind-tooled border composed from rules, roll-tools, various small-tools and some pointillé work in blind, the spine in seven compartments with double raised bands, lettered in two, the others tooled in gilt and blind, gilt tooled turn-ins, g.e., by F. Doll (lower edges slightly scuffed, small gouge mark on lower cover of vol. I, vol. VI with surface damage to very small areas of leather on covers, vol. VIII with slight scuff marks on upper cover).\n\nProvenance: Marie-Caroline-Ferdinande-Louise de Bourbon-Sicile, duchesse de Berry (binding); Botfield acquired from Payne & Foss for (40.19s. (P. & F. Acquisitions, p.78).\n\nFIRST EDITION, LIMITED TO 280 COPIES, OF REDOUTÉ'S MASTERPIECE AND AN OUTSTANDING ASSOCIATION COPY from the library of one of his patrons. The title is too modest as the work also includes irises, orchids, amaryllis, heliconias, strelitzias, agaves and others. Redouté is undoubtedly the most famous of all flower painters. Born in Saint Hubert, Belgium in 1759, by 1798 he was in the employment of Joséphine Bonaparte, an association that lasted until her death in 1814. He had learnt plant anatomy, the techniques of dissection and how to make drawings that were detailed and botanically correct from L'Héritier de Brutelle; Gérard van Spaendonck, professor of flower painting at the Jardin du Roi and overseer of the vélins du Roi collection, taught him new techniques for capturing the subtle almost luminous gradations of tone and colour using pure watercolour on vellum in preference to the much heavier gouache; and after a trip to London with L'Héritier when Redouté met Francesco Bartolozzi, he mastered and improved on Bartolozzi's technique for producing coloured stipple-engravings. Redouté's synthesis of these skills was to produce perhaps the greatest ever series of botanical works: the first of these was Les Liliacées. It was issued in 80 parts between 1802 and 1816 and although not directly commissioned or sponsored by Joséphine it is doubtful that Redouté would have been able find finance for so massive a work without her patronage. Indeed it was almost certainly through her intercession that Minister of the Interior Chaptal (to whom the work is dedicated) was authorised in 1805 to subscribe to 80 copies on behalf of the Emperor. These were distributed to museums or given as Imperial gifts by the Foreign Minister Talleyrand.\n\nStafleu and Cowan 8747; Nissen BBI 1597; Great Flower Books p.71; Dunthorne 231; I. MacPhail, 'Books Illustrated by Redouté' in G. H. M. Lawrence A catalogue of Redoutéana exhibited at the Hunt Botanical Library, Pittsburgh: 1963. 10. (8)
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*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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