Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840), the ‘Raphael of flowers’
Having sold a beautiful watercolour on vellum of flowers by Redouté at the start of the year (see our Gallery Notes Autumn 2013), we were keen to try and buy a similar example which appeared at an auction in Le Havre, France in mid-March. On the day we pushed the bidding to €50,000, but were unsuccessful; it sold for a total of €60,000. Nonetheless we take heart from the result. Pure flowerpieces by Redouté, as opposed to his purely botanical illustrations, are rare today and deserve greater admiration and recognition than the French auctioneer’s lowly estimate of €8,000-10,000 would suggest. Indeed, as an artist with whose remarkable creations our firm has had a long association, we would like Redouté to be restored to his rightful place in the pantheon of flower painters, and to see his finest vellums be valued accordingly.