Recognized as the royal designer and painter for three successive French Empresses, Marie-Antoinette, Josephine Bonaparte, and Marie-Amelie, Belgian artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté etched his name into the history of botanical art through his magnificent floral folios. Three of his major works, Les Liliacées, Les Roses, and Choix des plus belles fleurs, were produced under royal patronage and depict plants from the French imperial gardens. His botanical prints, rendered through the innovative technique of stipple engraving, received a fervent welcome and were praised for their soft modulation of form and delicate coloring.
Despite the political tumult that characterizes turn-of-the-century France, from the overthrow of the Bourbon empire, the reign of Napoleon, and the July Revolution of 1830, Redouté continued to methodically produce beautifully serene folios of flowers in stark contrast to his violent historical backdrop. His work was highly respected in his time and continues to be prized today.