Pierre Joseph Redouté. Plate 29. "Vaccinium myrtillus." [Whortleberry or Bilberry]. From Duhamel du Monceau's Traité des Arbres et Arbustes.
Paris, 1801-19. 10 x 6 (image). Folio. Stipple engravings, printed in color, and finished by hand. Full margins. Very good condition.
A very finely engraved print by Pierre Joseph Redouté (1759-l840), considered by many the most important of all botanical painters. The print comes from the “Nouveau Duhamel,” issued as an homage to Duhamel’s important eighteenth century work. The prints from this work show flowering trees and shrubs, and what makes them the fine examples of botanical illustration that they are considered to be, is both the genius and sophistication of their creator and the outstanding technical skill involved in their production. Redouté is credited with perfecting the method of stipple engraving and with introducing it from England into France. It is this method combined with the technique of color printing à la poupée that allowed for the most subtle gradations of color, tone, and modelling, with the result that the structure and texture of the plants could be portrayed with beautiful fidelity. Rarely are technical skill, artistic talent and botanical knowledge seen to complement one another so well, and it is this combination that makes these plates so beautiful and desirable.
Other Redoutés from this series: