Rose gardeners often love decorating their homes with rose prints, and botanical prints are a classic and tasteful choice. Everyone interested in botanical prints should be acquainted with their most famous artist, Pierre-Joseph Redoute. Born in Holland in 1759, Redoute would change the world of botanical prints and botany forever.
Pierre-Joseph Redoute left his home country of Holland and traveled the world reaching Paris in his twenties. His main interest was in the natural world and he spent his time studying and painting botanical themed works. Throughout his life his work progressed, at first just working for the theater, then museums and eventually studying under famous botanists. His employments helped to develop his talent and botanical knowledge, enabling him to create botanical prints with intricate and scientifically accurate detail.
Pierre-Joseph Redoute continued his travels and eventually found himself employed by Napoleon’s wife, empress Josephine. Josephine’s gardens and love of roses were legendary. Under Josephine Redoute was able to study and paint the varied roses of her collection, this wasn’t just any collection but one of the most immense in the world’s history. Certainly a collection of this magnitude was nothing to scoff at during the late 1700s.
Redoute had illustrated fifty botanical books by his death. As time went on political upheaval had little affect on Redoute’s work. Rulers of the time would come in and out of power, and Redoute managed to work well with them all. Everyone seemed to recognize and appreciate the excellence of Redoute’s work. Pierre-Joseph Redoute passed away in 1840 and even today his artwork can still be seen in Paris.
Copies of Redoute’s prints can be easily be found, and I was able to locate some fairly low cost books filled with his botanical drawings of both roses and various other botanical specimens at Barnes and Noble. Since then I have found endless uses for my botanical prints including interior decorating, gifts and crafts. Below are some of my favorite ideas.
For interior decorating how about framing one or a group of botanical prints to fill a wall or hallway? You could place a row of them or a group of nine arranged in a square over your bed in place of a headboard. If you’re lucky enough to locate a large book of prints inexpensively, they can almost be used as wallpaper. Some examples would be to decoupage botanical prints on one wall of a room or to decoupage them in a bathroom above white bead board or chair rail trim.
The botanical prints could also be used for scrapbooking, creating personalized cards or even as wrapping paper for small gifts. How about cutting out the roses on botanical prints and gluing them onto the drawers of an old painted dresser or onto a dresser top that is covered by a piece of glass? The ideas are only limited by your imagination.
Botanical prints can be found for a variety of prices and in some of the most unlikely locations. Many gardeners have even started collecting antique rare botanical prints. If you have the money and time to invest in the search antique botanical prints are some of the most beautiful items you can collect. Get started on your search and decorating ideas today.
The following Redoute products can be found at Amazon.com:
Floral Art of Pierre-Joseph Redoute
The Roses: The Complete Plates (Taschen 25th Anniversary)