Hope this finds you well?
Continuing on with my recent overseas trip, this week I would love to share with you a rare and wonderful opportunity that presented itself on a stopver in Paris, on our return trip to Cape Town from Italy.
As you all probably know, my first book was “Redoute’s Finest Flowers In Embroidery”, published in 2001. It is almost out of print now but still holds a very special place in my heart.
The botanical paintings of the artist Pierre Joseph Redoute have always held a fascination for me and unbelievably, for the first time in France, Musée de la Vie Romantique (the Museum of Romantics) and the Museum of Natural History were holding an exhibition of 250 of his rare, original, watercolours. I was beyond excited!
Pierre-Joseph Redouté, (1759 – 1840) was a painter and botanist from Belgium, known for his watercolours of roses, lilies and other flowers at Malmaison. He was nicknamed “the Raphael of flowers” and has been called the greatest botanical illustrator of all time.
It was an absolute thrill for me to see his original works firsthand and so it was that I left my husband and teenage daughter to the charms of Paris, whilst I traveled across Paris to the Musée de la Vie Romantique at the foot of Montmartre. Ah Paris!
I was not disappointed – the originals were breathtaking! I desperately wanted to share my delight with someone, but unfortunately most of the visitors were French, and not too keen to chat to some deranged stranger from South Africa, so I shared my enthusiasm with the Security lady at the door in a combination of broken French interspersed with English.
Here are some close ups of the paintings I saw – oh my goodness what can I say.
Some of his sketch book watercolors, the paper was old and marked they were the real thing.
Some of his sketches that have never been seen before by the public.
And some rare illustrations in Poetry books.
You can see more of his work and the collection on my PINTEREST BOARD.
Seeing Redoute’s art has inspired me to create a new botanical needle painting design, his Morning Glories.
and the Anemones pattern here.
Till next time, wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching.