Pierre Joseph Redouté was one of three brothers born to a family of Belgium painters. He left home at 13, intending to work as an artist and interior decorator, but later joined his elder brother as a theater set designer in Paris. While sketching flowers in a park, Redouté was spotted by botanist Charles Louis L'Heritier du Brutelle, who became his mentor. His first botanical illustrations were for L'Heritier’s ‘Stirpes Novae’ (1785-91). Empress Josephine, who collected every known species of rose for her gardens at the Chateau de la Malmaison, Paris, commissioned Redouté to record her roses. In 1786 he accompanied L'Heritier to London, where he visited the Vineyard nursery in Hammersmith and learnt stipple engraving and color printing.
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