Watercolor of a bouquet of eight variegated tulips. The painting is dated 1826 and relates stylistically and by date to botanical illustrations in Choix Des Plus Belles Fleurs [Selection of the Most Beautiful Flowers] (Paris: 1827-33) by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840). Redouté was the greatest botanical artist of the golden age of French natural history art. Choix was produced during the latter portion of his career when he increasingly favored "elegant, decorative compositions" (including bouquets) over the "straightforward botanical portraiture" of his earlier period. (Hunt).
It is possible that a colleague, pupil or other protégé of Redouté created this work. Like Redouté, the painter of these tulips focuses on beautiful ornamental flowers rendered as smooth, rounded forms. The painting is now mounted in a vintage handmade French mat and white frame.
Condition: Generally very good, uniformly toned overall, with some faint scattered spotting. Paper lightly cockled. Vintage hand-made French mat toned, with light scattered spotting and impurities (watercolor is exactly the size of the mat opening, so the mat acidity does not affect the watercolor). Vintage frame with the usual overall light toning and wear.
Blunt, Wilfred, rev. by Stearn, William T. The Art of Botanical Illustration. Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Antique Collectors Club, 1994. pp. 25-26, 194-209.
Brindle, John V., James J. White and Donald E Wendel. Flora Portrayed: Classics of Botanical Art from the Hunt Institute Collection. Pittsburgh, PA: Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie-Mellon University, 1985. pp. 44-45.
Dunthorne, Gordon. Flower and Fruit Prints of the 18th and Early 19th Centuries. Their History, Makers and Uses, with a Catalogue Raisonne of the Works in Which They are Found. Washington, D.C.: Published by the Author, 1938. 231 (Redouté Lilies), 232 (Redouté Roses), 235 (Redouté Choix).
Hardouin-Fugier, Elisabeth. The Pupils of Redoute. Leigh on Sea: F. Lewis, 1981.
Sitwell, Sacheverell. Great Flower Books, 1700-1900. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990. pp. 71-72.