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July 10, 2009

Roses Are Red...


Violets are blue (OK, these are Pansies)
Pierre-Joseph Redouté

portrait by Francois Gerard in Musee des
Beaux Arts, Brussels

Born 250 years ago today in the Ardennes
town of St Hubert, Belgium.
Called the Rembrandt of Roses, the
Raphael of Flowers.

Today, reproductions of his work seem
to be almost everywhere. Decorating greeting cards,
items for the home, and walls in public venues.
Most know his work, but not much
about his life.

He came from a hardworking but humble
family of local artists. His father, his and his
artistic brothers' first teacher.
Eventually, he became flower painter to
Marie Antoinette then Empress Josephine
and taught the talented daughter of the
Duc de Orleans, who became Queen of Belgium.

Beginning research for my book, REDOUTÉ,
The ManWho Painted Flowers, I wrote a letter
to the Mayor of St Hubert asking if anyone
there knew about the artist and could help me.
The response, overwhelming.
The Mayor had passed my letter on to the Director of
the Museum, a Redoutè expert, collector, author
and respected town Pharmacist, M. Laurent Delcourt.
When I arrived in St Hubert, M. Delcourt
had arranged everything and everyone to help me.

Redouté's bust in St Hubert

Not only is Redouté the town hero,
his bust sits in front of the Hotel de Ville
(town hall).
There is a Redouté Museum on the Rue
Redouté across the street from where the
family's house once stood.
(Having been accidently flattened by an
American bomber aiming for German
headquarters across the rue, in WWII).
Today the former German headquarters
houses the Redouté Museum.
The town historian and my guide through
the town, the Abbey and how things were
in Redouté's time, was a descendent of
Redouté's Mother's family, Abbè Prosper
Chalon. An artist as well.

And this was just the beginning!

See my February 17, 2009 post for more pictures

1 comment:

  1. I just got my two copies in the mail. Thank you very much for the beautiful inscriptions! Redoute's roses are beautiful, of course, but these pansies are fabulous. I saw his lily book on Amazon - they look amazing too. What an artist!

    I love the Audubon picture you drew in the book.