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Botanical, Art, Prevost, Rose and Iris Bouquet, Antique Print, Paris, Early 19th Century


Jean Louis Prévost (c. 1760-after 1810) (after)
Partout (engraver)
Bouquet de Roses et d’Iris, No. 6 [Bouquet of Roses and Irises]
Basset, Paris: early 19th century
Stipple engraving, printed in colors and finished by hand
17.25 x 12.25 inches platemark
20.75 x 16.25 inches overall

Fluidly rendered and subtly colored study of  roses and bearded irises arranged arranged in a bouquet. Prevost is best known for 48 botanical prints published in Collection des Fleurs et des Fruits (Vilquin, Paris: 1805).  These are among the earliest examples of stipple engraved color-printed botanical illustrations.  The offered example is from a related series of Prevost stipple-engraved botanicals instead issued by the prominent and prolific early 19th Century French publisher Basset, located on Rue St. Jacques. Prevost’s botanical prints were intended as source material for designers of porcelain and fabric.  Many plates showed bouquets of flowers, and others were still life paintings of fruit. The quality of the color printing places these prints among the best produced during the golden age of French botanical art in the early 19th century.

Product Description Continues Below


Jean-Louis Prévost was a painter of landscapes and flowers; and frequently worked in watercolor. Born in Nointel, France, he was a student of Bachelier and a member of a circle of painters associated with the great botanical artist Gerrit van Spaendonck. He was a member of the Academy of Saint-Luc, exhibiting paintings of flowers and fruits there from 1791 to 1810, and he also exhibited at the Academie Royale. His works are in the collection of a number of French museums. His best known work is the Collection des Fleurs et des Fruits (Vilquin, Paris: 1805).  Prevost botanical prints in similar size and style were published “chez Basset,” Rue St. Jacques in the early 19th century.  In addition, in the same period, a series of Cahiers de Fleurs dessineés d’aprés Nature after Prévost and engraved by A. Legrand was issued.  Prints based on paintings by Prévost were separately issued as well, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, some bound in composite sets of prints by various makers.

An original Prévost botanical watercolor, and three Prévost botanical prints are in the collection of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and are illustrated and described in a book of the collection. According to authors Brindle and White, Prévost’s still life images (specifically flowers and fruit in baskets in the Hunt collection) “reflect a characteristically French trend away from Baroque extravagance and toward casual informality.”

Full publisher information: A Paris chez Basset. Md. d’Estampes et Fabricant de Papiers peinte, rue St. Jacques au coin de celle des Mathurins, No. 64.

Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, with minor remaining light toning and wear.


Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 5, p. 484 (Legrand); Vol. 7, p. 22 (Prévost).

Brindle, John V. and White, James J. Flora Portrayed. Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 1985. p. 48.

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. p. 229.

McKee, George D. “The Image of France.” ARTFL Project. August 2002. (4 May 2005).

Nissen, Claus. Die Botanische Buchillustration: ihre Geschichte und Bibliographie. Stuttgart:1951-66. 1568.

Pritzel, Georg August. Thesaurus Literaturae Botanicae Omnium Gentium. Milan: 1950. 7332.

Sitwell, Sacheverell. Great Flower Books, 1700-1900. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990. p. 127.

Stafleu, Frans A. and Richard S.Cowan. Taxonomic Literature. Utrecht: 1967. 2nd ed., Utrecht: 1976-1988. TL2 8319.

Additional information


19th Century