200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 114: “Les Liliacées du Redouté ”

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three illustrations by Redouté of lilies from Les Liliacées
Three of the Redouté illustrations from Les Liliacées: Globba nutans (Plate 60, left), Amaryllis aurea (Plates 62, center), and Amaryllis formosissima (Plate 4, right).

Les Liliacées du Redouté

Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1756–1840) was a Belgian painter who became the most celebrated botanical illustrator of his day. Called the “Raphaël des fleurs,” he served as a court painter for Marie Antoinette, enjoyed continued success during the turmoil of the French Revolution, and, under the patronage of Empress Josephine, published two lavishly produced collections of his botanical illustrations, the eight-volume Les Liliacées (1802–1816) and the three-volume Les Roses (1817–1824).

The Academy’s copy of Les Liliacées was bequeathed to the institution by its former president William Maclure in 1835. It was part of Maclure’s extensive library at New Harmony, a utopian community that he helped found and support. The Ewell Sale Stewart Library & Archives also owns a copy of Les Roses.

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