VENTENAT, E.P. & REDOUTÉ, P.J.

Jardin de Malmaison.

Eur 85,000 / USD 88,400
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Paris, Crapelet, An XI (1803-1804) (-1805). 2 volumes. Folio (543 x 360mm). With 120 stipple-engraved plates by Redouté, printed in colours and finished by hand by J.B. Dien, P.F. Legrand, L.J. Allais and others. Contemporary red half calf, gilt ornamented spines with gilt lettering in 6 compartments.

There were 18 new Australian plants, with 24 figured

A fine copy containing Redouté's finest botanical illustrations. "The great opus of Redouté was now to come: the production of those sumptuous flower-books with colorplates of unsurpassed magnificence, 'Les Liliacées' and the 'Jardin de la Malmaison'? the cost of such works was so great as to have been prohibitive ? an effective patronage was required. This patronage Redouté found in ? Josephine de Beauharnais? Napoléon, still on his way to the stars, had married her in 1796 and two years later she acquired the charming property of Malmaison somewhat to northwest of Paris? Her artistic and horticultural interest predisposed her to be attracted to Redouté? In this way the garden at Malmaison? soon became unique of its great choice of exotic flowers from both the temperate and subtropical regions. The enthusiastic and splendor-loving Joséphine wanted to have her garden adequately described and the plants beautifully portrayed. Etienne-Pierre Ventenat (1757-1808)? was engaged to provide the descriptions, Redouté was to be the artist? Napoléon, too, has an indirect role in this volume for Joséphine knew how to spend his money, and she spent it liberally" (Stafleu. Redouté- Peintre de Fleurs pp. 19-20).
The work also has an Australian interest. "There were 18 new Australian plants, with 24 figured" (Mabberley. Botanical Revelation. European encounters with Australian plants before Darwin p. 162). Only 200 copies were printed. With old manuscript dedication to 'Madame et Monsieur de Saint Paul' by E.A. Baracque on half title.

Great Flower Books p. 79, Dunthorne 255; MacPhail 12; Lack. Ein Garten Eden no. 49; Stafleu & Cowan 16007; See also Jill Duchess of Hamilton. Napoleon, the Empress & the Artist. The story of Napoleon, Josephine's Garden at Malmaison, Redouté & Australian plants.