The Golden Age Of Botanical Art

During this period there were great advances in the techniques available to reproduce botanical art—in fact, all artwork.

Rosa centifolia foliacea

Photo: melchoir (wikipedia commons)

Detail from Rosa centifolia foliacea (aka cabbage rose) by Pierre-Joseph Redouté.

Art historians refer to the years from 1750 through 1850 as the Golden Age of Botanical Art.

One of the most revered artists of this period was Pierre-Joseph Redoute, who was born in Belgium. In 1782 he went to Paris and painted plants in the gardens of the French Court. His patrons included Marie-Antoinette, and after her untimely death, he painted the roses in the gardens of the Empress Josephine. She had the most splendid rose gardens of her time. We sometimes, even today, see notepaper and greeting cards with pictures of Redoute’s paintings of gorgeous roses.

Other painters of this period were the brothers Ferdinand and Franz Bauer from Austria. Ferdinand traveled to Greece and Australia to plant native flora, and Franz spent his time painting exotic flowers in the gardens and greenhouses at Kew in England.

During this period there were great advances in the techniques available to reproduce botanical art—in fact, all artwork. Painters were able by then to use metal engraving, etching, and color lithography. So pictures of flowers could be reproduced in books and other publications, and thus disseminated. Of course, it was still an expensive process, but painters could at last share their work beyond their patrons and inner circles.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Focus on Flowers:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Focus on Flowers

About The Host

Search Focus on Flowers

Focus on Flowers on Flickr