Liliaceae: Iris pseudocorus signed 'P.J. Redouté' (lower left) pencil and watercolor on vellum 18 3/4 x 13 1/4in (47.6 x 33.6cm)
PROVENANCE: Empress Josephine Bonaparte, Malmaison (acquired directly from the artist; last volume delivered after her death in 1814); Prince Eugène de Beauharnais (her son), later created Duke of Leuchtenberg in Bavaria; The Dukes of Leuchtenberg, Bavaria; Sale: Braus-Riggenbach and Ulrich Hoepfli, Zürich, Bibliotheque Eugène de Beauharnais sale, May 23, 1935, lot 82; Erhard Weyhe, New York, before World War II; Private Trust (their sale, Sotheby's, New York, Pierre-Joseph Redouté's 'Les Liliacées,' The Empress Josephine's Copy with the Original Drawings and the Text on Vellum, November 20, 1985, offered as one lot); with W. Graham Arader III, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (acquired at the above sale).
Les Liliacées was an eight-volume set of botanical drawings, produced by Redouté under the patronage of Empress Josephine between 1802-1816. It was printed by Didot Jeune, Paris, with stipple-engraved color plates and finished by hand. Empress Josephine purchased the original set that served as model for the engravings. The present work is number 235 in that set.