Abbé Laurent Berlèse, Pl. 84 Camellia Woodsii, stipple engraving, Iconographie du Camellia, 1839–43
Enjoy special pricing on Plate 84 Camellia Woodsii, a stunning stipple engraving from Iconographie du Genre Camellias, or Description and Figures of the Most Beautiful and Rarest Camellias; Painted after Nature in the Greenhouses and Under the direction of the Abbot, Mr. Berlèse, by J.-J. Jung, 1839–43.
In the accompanying text, Berlese describes C. Woodsii as "Leaves twenty lines wide (lines are a former unit of measurement in botany, approximately 1/12 of a French inch) and three inches and ten lines long; lanceolate, acuminated, a little dentated, of a deep green; handsome port; bud very large, oblong, scales blackish; flower very large, three inches in diameter, petals unequal. This flower resembles a Provence rose; blooms with difficulty.—Superb."
Produced from 1839–43, Iconographie du Genre Camellias comprises 300 partly hand-colored plates engraved by Dumenil, Gabriel and Oudet, and were printed in Paris by N. Rémond. The subtlety and coloring of these plates is comparable in many ways to Redouté’s Les Roses. Beautiful in groupings of four, six, or eight images, the camellias vary in color from ruby red to pink, white, and variegated.
J.J. Jung pinx.; Oudet sc., N. Remond, imp. Excellent margins. In perfect condition. 13.5 x 10.375 inches.
$1,250 this week only (list price $2,000). Offer expires 7-3-17.
The most important and definitive work on camellias, Iconographie du Genre Camellia ou Description et Figures des Camellia Les Plus Beaux et Les Plus Rares depicts 300 varieties of camellias grown in the gardens and hothouses of Lorenzo Berlèse (1784–1863), a wealthy Italian abbot. Born in Campo Molino, north Italy, for most of his career, Abbé Laurent Berlèse worked in France where he studied, cultivated, and wrote about camellias, and also published this folio. Berlèse’s interest led him to become the greatest 19th-century scholar on the subject of camellias.
Camellias reached their peak in popularity in Europe between 1825 and 1870, during which time an enormous number of the seedlings obtained by crossing variants of Camellia japonica were raised and named, primarily by the Abbé Berlèse and two Belgian nurserymen.
Drawings for these extremely rare, fine stipple engravings were made by the German artist Johann Jakob Jung (1819–1844). After he began to work on his drawings of camellias for Berlèse, Jung submitted a watercolor of a camellia to the Société d’Horticulture in Paris. They praised his work for “l’exactitude et la beauté d’exécution”, and elected him to the Société in 1839.
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