Flo­ral mas­ter­pieces

Milk Magazine (English) - - BOOK -

THE BOOK OF FLOW­ERS PIERRE-JOSEPH RED­OUTE

Dubbed “the Raphael of flow­ers”, Pier­reJoseph Red­outé (1759-1840), spent his life study­ing and metic­u­lously paint­ing flow­er­ing plants (his wa­ter­colours were then pub­lished as cop­per en­grav­ings). Un­til his dy­ing day, the painter pur­sued his botan­i­cal re­search with a pas­sion that can be seen in the de­tails of each pe­tal. Taschen’s su­perb cat­a­logue is di­vided into three parts, each de­voted to a dif­fer­ent species and pe­riod in the artist’s ca­reer. Lilies lead the dance, im­mers­ing the reader in a series of en­grav­ings that are both in­for­ma­tive and ex­tremely re­fined. Roses, com­plete with thorns and plump buds, then take read­ers into the gar­dens and green­houses of a by­gone Paris. This flo­ral ex­pe­di­tion ends with a se­lec­tion of the most beau­ti­ful flow­ers. Both con­nois­seurs and young read­ers will find the ac­cu­rate de­pic­tion of a fresh fig or the po­etry of a colour­ful pas­sion flower a de­light to the eyes. This mar­vel­lous en­cy­clopae­dia is likely to in­spire two dif­fer­ent re­ac­tions: con­tem­pla­tive lovers of beauty may be tempted to tear out the pages in order to frame them, while young read­ers, ex­cited at the thought of na­ture in all its glory, may opt to take up gar­den­ing. (M.P.) taschen.com

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