Jardin De La Malmaison: Empress Josephine's Garden


The extraordinary early nineteenth century gardens of Josephine Bonaparte at Malmaison are revealed in this lavish publication. One hundred and twenty colored stipple engravings depict a dazzling array of exotic plants from around the world, while the text tells the fascinating story of how the first wife of Napoleon I came to transform a modest estate on the outskirts of Paris into a botanical and zoological garden to rival the great Jardin des Plantes itself.

Keen to have these biological rarities recorded in lifelike watercolor, Josephine engaged the foremost plant illustrator of the day, Pierre-Joseph Redoute, to paint 120 of them on fine parchment, and commissioned Etienne-Pierre Ventenat, librarian of the Pantheon in Paris, to write accompanying plant descriptions. She then arranged for the text and illustrations to be published together as the Jardin de la Malmaison. A number of engravers were employed to produce colored stipple engravings after Redoute's watercolors, and the publication appeared in twenty installments between April 1803 and November 1805.


9.8 x 1.8 x 14.2 inches
6 pounds

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