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Vase of Flowers

Pierre-Joseph Redouté

(1750 - 1840) | 953.1.4

Date : 19th century | Medium : Oil on canvas

Nicknamed the ‘Raphael of flowers’, Pierre-Joseph Redouté was a brilliant flower painter of the Enlightenment, a period when the study of nature began to develop considerably.

Although a large portion of his work has come down to us (he contributed to around fifty botanical works by Lamarck, Candolle and others), many of his original watercolours were lost in the fire of 1871 at the Louvre during the Commune, and his paintings are few and far between, particularly his famous ‘roses’. The Vase of Flowers in the Musée de Rouen is thus an exceptional work, all the more so in view of its excellent condition.  

The artist's faithfulness to nature is remarkable in his oil paintings and watercolours alike. Although born in the Belgian Ardennes, Redouté did not cultivate the virtuosity of a Northern miniaturist. The extraordinary impression of truth that emanates from his works reflects the fruit of scientific study lasting an entire lifetime: that of a man with an intense love and respect for nature.