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. A series of Cahiers de Fleurs dessineés d’aprés Nature after Prévost and engraved by A. Legrand was issued in the first quarter of the 19th Century. 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.”
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall toning and scattered wear. Some minor marginal tears, soft creases, minor loss to upper left corner professionally repaired as rebacked on oriental paper.
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.
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Sitwell, Sacheverell. Great Flower Books, 1700-1900. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990. p. 127.
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