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Exhibition of Flower Drawings at Fitzwilliam Museum Explores the Legacy of Redouté
Pierre Joseph Redouté, Metrosyderos glauca (1812). Drawing (watercolour and bodycolour over graphite on vellum, margins ruled in red and gold ink) © The Fitzwilliam Museum.
CAMBRIDGE.- The 'Raphael of flowers', Joseph-Pierre Redouté (1759-1840), internationally famous for his prints of roses and lilies, was the finest botanical draughtsman of his age. In France he had a prestigious reputation in his own time, working for the Royal court both for Queen Marie-Antoinette and then for the Empress Joséphine following the French Revolution. Later in life his school of botanical drawing in Paris had over 80 pupils, the majority of them women, a number of whom became professional painters of flowers.

This latest exhibition from the Fitzwilliam Museum’s prestigious Broughton collection of flower paintings and drawings will show the legacy of Redouté as an artist and teacher through a dual display of his work and works by some of his most accomplished students. The exhibition will also celebrate the recent acquisition of a watercolour by artist Julie Ribault. Painted in 1830, Redouté's school of botanical drawing in the Salle Buffon of the Jardin des Plantes has not been exhibited since it was first shown at the Paris Salon of 1831.

Director of The Fitzwilliam Museum Dr Timothy Potts commented: “We are delighted to be showing this wonderful exhibition of flower drawings by Redouté and his pupils. Thanks to the bequests of collector and outstanding maker of gardens Major Henry Broughton in 1966 and on his death in 1973, the Fitzwilliam has one of the most splendid collections of flower paintings and drawings of any Museum in the country and the most important collection of Redouté drawings in the UK. The Fitzwilliam mounts an exhibition of the more delicate works on paper from the Broughton collection every three years, and we hope all will enjoy this charming and varied selection of flower drawings.”



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