The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Summer 2022

Discover captivating Corsica, the island of beauty and glitzy, cinematic Cannes. Explore Antibes, less well known than it's neighbours Nice and Cannes, it's incredibly pretty and authentic, and the Camargue in the south of France where wild white horses and pink flamingoes roam. Come with us to arty Arles, historic Agincourt and Aisne in Picardy - the ancient cradle of France. Meet artisan gin makers in Cognac, discover the prune route of France, fabulous recipes, guides, gorgeous photos, the best tours, what's new in France and delicious recipes - and more...

At the age of 23,

At the age of 23, Redouté arrived in Paris where he spent the rest of his life, joining his eldest brother, Antoine-Ferdinand, who was a stage designer for the Théâtre des Italiens. In Paris it was the very end of the Age of Enlightenment when the city was a mecca for science and culture. When Redouté wasn’t working at the theatre, he frequently visited the Jardin du Roi, now the Jardin des Plantes and would draw for hours on end. It was there that he caught the eye of Charles- Louis L’Héritier de Brutelle who encouraged him to produce botanical studies, offering him free access to his botanical library and plant collection. A noted French aristocrat, the Superintendent of Parisian Waters and Forests, a biologist and plant collector, L’Héritier became Redouté’s instructor, teaching him to dissect flowers and portray their specific characteristics precisely. Portrait of Redouté by Louis-Léopold Boilly, 1800 L’Héritier was so impressed with his new student he commissioned him to illustrate two books on botany. As a result Redouté created more than 50 drawings which were included in L’Heritier’s Stirpes Novae, New Plants, and Sertum Anglicum, An English Garland. L’Héritier generously recommended Redouté to Gérard van Spaendonck, the miniature and flower painter to King Louis XVI. Together with other artists, van Spaendonck produced drawings and paintings for the famous Vélins du Roi, Royal Collection of Paintings on Vellum, archival drawings and paintings of all the specimens brought to the Jardins du Roi, containing nearly 7,000 gouaches and watercolours on vellum representing flowers, plants and animals. Spaendonck recruited Redouté as a pupil and staff painter, and he subsequently contributed over 500 paintings to the ongoing Vélins project. Spaendonck taught him a special watercolour technique that produced flower paintings on vellum with an unusually bright translucency. By his own account, his student’s work was finer than his own. In 1787 Redouté and L’Héritier left France to study plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens 56 | The Good Life France

Flower loving Queen Marie-Antoinette by Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, 1783, it’s said that roses and violets were her favourites and at the Trianon, Versailles, roses were said to flower all year long in greenhouses at Kew, near London, returning the following year. While at Kew, Redouté collaborated with the greatest botanists of the day and participated in nearly 50 publications depicting both the familiar flowers of the French court and rare plants from places as distant as Japan, America, South Africa, and Australia. Redouté produced over 2,100 published plates depicting over 1,800 different species, many never rendered before. L’Héritier also introduced Redouté to members of the court at Versailles, following which Marie Antoinette became one of his patrons. She appointed him her personal court painter. Even though encounters with the royal family were few, one biography cites a famous incidence when Redouté was asked to visit the royal family in prison during the Revolution. They wanted him to capture the beautiful moment of a rare cactus in bloom. With skill and savvy, Redouté survived the political turbulence of the French Revolution and the ensuing Reign of Terror. The Good Life France | 57