Born in 1759 in Belgium, Pierre-Joseph Redouté moved to Paris in 1782. He was introduced at Versailles in 1788, and received the title of painter and draughtsman to the Queen's Cabinet. He continued to receive increasing support and protection from important figures: Marie-Antoinette first of all, then the Empress Joséphine, the Empress Marie-Louise, and finally Queen Marie-Amélie.
Titles followed one another: draughtsman at the Académie des Sciences, official painter to the Empress Joséphine, professor of painting to the Empress Marie-Louise, master of drawing at the Museum of Natural History, painter of flowers to the Cabinet of Queen Marie-Amélie.
Pierre-Joseph Redouté collaborated with the greatest botanists of the time, particularly Lamarck, and contributed to a large number of scientific works. Nicknamed the "Raphael of Flowers", his watercolour paintings, particularly of roses, the favourite flowers of the Empress Joséphine, are still famous; the transparency of the colours and their tones are of an unequalled quality. His three volumes dedicated to roses (1817 - 1824), the favourite flowers of the Empress Joséphine, were hugely successful and were reprinted several times.