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Variegated Iris
Pierre Joseph Redouté
14" wide / 18 7/8" high
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Iris squalens (Variegated Iris)

This colorful, beautiful image bursts from the page with wonderful botanical detail; the pencil details show otherwise hidden morphological detail. The subject flower itself was perfectly cultivated and bloomed in preparation for the painting, which was intended to provide the ultimate reference for future cultivation of this stunning flower.

Our Perfect Recreation™ of the original watercolor captures the flower's vivid yellow and purple. Redouté's thorough attention to detail combines with his careful use of light and shadow to produce a highly realistic, convincingly three-dimensional impression.

About Pierre Joseph Redouté

In 1798, Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, established the most spectacular botanical garden on the planet. Exotic plants from around the globe were brought to her Chateau de Malmaison where they were cultivated and documented by France's leading horticulturists and botanists. At the beginning of the 19th century, Josephine commissioned Pierre-Joseph Redouté, the greatest botanical illustrator in history, to paint her unparalleled collection of specimens.

Redouté's greatest works are Les Liliacées, 486 watercolor masterpieces; and Les Roses, 169 stunning watercolors that may be the most popular flower paintings in history. While the hand-colored stipple engravings made from these watercolors are among the most prized of all botanic art works, they do not capture the subtlety and luminosity of the original watercolors. Our Discovery Edition™ of Perfect Recreations™ represents the first and only reproduction of these rarest of original watercolors other than the early 19th-century engravings.

See all of the engravings in these beautiful books: click here to buy Redouté's The Lilies at Amazon.com; click here to buy Redouté's The Roses at Amazon.com.

Redouté was not a botanist, but the exceptional detail he gave to each painting made these works an invaluable scientific reference throughout the 19th century. The scope of the work went far beyond the liliaceae family to include hundreds of other specimens that, like lilies, could not be well preserved by drying in herbaria. The accuracy and detail of these paintings provided the definitive reference for study and further cultivation of the subject plants throughout the 19th century.

Related collections: Flower Discovery of the Month Club Redouté Collection

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