The power of flowers: Pierre-Joseph Redoute exhibition

musee de la vie romantique

musee de la vie romantique


There are many world-class art museums in Paris, but I tend to favour the lesser-known ones that are slightly off the beaten track. Located at the foot of Montmartre hill is Musée de la Vie romantique (The Museum of Romantic Life or Museum of the Romantics), a small and pretty hôtel particulier with a greenhouse, a garden, and a paved courtyard. Built in 1830, it was the base of Dutch/French Romantic painter Ary Scheffer, where he received Parisian socialites like Delacroix, Rossini, Sand, Chopin, Gounod, Tourgueniev, Dickens… Now the museum’s permanent collection displays the paintings of Scheffer and his contemporaries, as well as the memorabilia of George Sand including furniture, painting, objets d’art and jewellery.

For fans of botanical art, the current exhibition: ‘The power of flowers: Pierre-Joseph Redouté 1759-1840′ (until 29th October) is a must-see, because it offers a rare opportunity to view works by the Belgian botanist and painter Redouté, who was often called “the Raphael of flowers” and the greatest botanical illustrator of all time.


musee de la vie romantique

Pierre-Joseph Redouté  Pierre-Joseph Redouté

Pierre-Joseph Redouté  Pierre-Joseph Redouté

Botanical drawings by Pierre-Joseph Redouté


Redouté worked with the greatest botanists of his time, responding to their quest for classification and identification of the plants brought back from every continent. Not only was he an appointed painter to the sovereigns, he was also an engraver, a publisher and a teacher. His illustrated publications also inspired many manufacturers to produce wallpapers, textiles, porcelain, embroidery and other applied arts.


the power of flowers

the power of flowers  the power of flowers


With more than 250 paintings, watercolours, art objects and vellum on display, the exhibition showcases works by Redouté and other artists who had been influenced by him. While inside the house (and some at the garden), another exhibition, ‘A fleur d’atelier – Fine crafts tour’ organised by Ateliers d’Art de France displays contemporary crafts created by 26 artists based on the theme of flowers/plants.


christine coste  sarah radulescu

lise rathonie

ferri garces  ferri garces

Top left: Christine Coste’s L’assaut; Top right: Sarah Radulescu’s Floraison; 3rd row: Lise Rathonie’s Les Exuberantes; Bottom left: Ferri Garces’ Hibiscus; Bottom right: Ferri Garces’ Rose des Sables


Forty original art works can be seen throughout the house and at the garden, and a wide range of materials like silver, paper, cotton, porcelain, plaster, wool, and glass, etc. are employed in these works.

Both exhibitions are fascinating, and it demonstrates the ever-alluring appeal of flowers/plants, and how artists and craftsmen have continuously been inspired by nature over the centuries.


francoise tellier loumangne

angele riguidel  stephanie martin

corinne dorlencourt

Top: Francoise Tellier Loumangne’s Achillee; 2nd row left: Angele Riguidel’s Nature Morte; 2nd row right: Stephanie Martin’s Verture; Bottom: Corinne Dorlencourt’s Etamines


The exhibition is on at the Musée de la Vie romantique (16, rue Chaptal, 75009, Paris ) until 29th October.

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