Rosa gallica maheka from Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s Les Roses, 1817-24. Huntington Library
19th-century engraving of Empress Joséphine. Huntington Library.
Frontispiece from A Collection of Roses from Nature, 1799, by Mary Lawrance. Huntington Library.
Rosa semperflorens (dark China), from A Collection of Roses from Nature, 1799, by Mary Lawrance. Huntington Library.
La Rose Impériale: The Development of Modern Roses
Feb. 9–April 28
Had it not been for Empress Joséphine of France, rose gardens today might be far less beautiful spaces. The wife of Napoléon Bonaparte had such a passion for the flowers that she spent vast sums collecting new varieties for the gardens at Château Malmaison, giving roses an imperial allure that did much to heighten their popularity. Joséphine commissioned Pierre-Joseph Redouté, former court painter of Marie Antoinette, to paint a series of flower portraits, which were later published in the great three-volume work Les Roses. This exhibition is drawn from The Huntington’s collections of rare botanical books, including a first edition of Les Roses (1817–24) and more than 100 other beautifully illustrated works. “La Rose Impériale: The Development of Modern Roses” is presented in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Rose Garden at The Huntington, which was established in 1908 by founders Henry and Arabella Huntington.
For more information please visit: The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens