REDOUTÉ, Pierre-Joseph (1759-1840) - CANDOLLE, Augustin Pyramus de, (1778-1841). Plantarum succulentarum historia, ou Histoire naturelle des plantes grasses. Paris: Pierre Didot L'Aine, 1799 [-1804].
Parts 1-24 in 3 volumes. Folio (20 x 12 6/8 inches). Letterpress title-page (creased in volume one, torn with considerable loss in volume III, library stamp removed) and index in each volume (one or two pale marginal stains to volume one). 142 colour printed stipple-engraved plates after Redoute (first plate in volume II loose), interleaved with text by Candolle (some spotting). Contemporary half tan calf, marbled paper boards, gilt (very worn, hinges weak, those on volume III strengthened).
LARGE PAPER ISSUE OF REDOUTE'S FIRST MAJOR WORK AS AN ILLUSTRATOR.
One of 100 copies issued. Originally published in fascicles: the first 28 (containing 180 plates) between 1799 and 1805, when an argument between de Candolle and the publisher halted publication. The work was resumed through the interest of the botanist J.-B.-.A. Guillemin (1796-1862), who issued, in quarto edition, another three fascicles (nos.29-31 [with a further 19 plates]). A thirty-second fascicle of five plates remains unpublished.
The first major botanical work to rely on colour-printed plates using the technique of stipple-engraving, an art refined by Redoute which he had learned from Francesco Bartolozzi while visiting England with French botanist C.-L. l'Hriter de Brutelle (1746-1800). It has been claimed that Redoute introduced the art to France. Certainly the technique had not been applied to flowers before and it allowed for the first time the artist to reproduce the delicacy of a flower's form and color that had so far eluded the printer's art. "Plantes Grasses." as it is better known, was also the first collaboration between the then young Swiss botanist and Redoute; their magnum opus was "Les Liliacees" (1802-1816). It was inspired by the suggestion of l'Hriter de Brutelle (1746-1800). Whilst Redoute began work on the drawings on vellum, R.-L. Desfontaines "found a young Swiss botanist, Augustin-Pyramus De Candolle.., then a student at the garden, ready to undertake the task of writing the descriptions of each species. Desfontaines also found a publisher... Out of this collaboration... developed the now famous "Plantarum historia succulentum", ... The original folio edition was struck off in 100 copies... The number of copies printed for the quarto and for other later editions is not known" (Stafleu in Hunt "Redouteana" pp.15-16). Dunthorne 241; Great Flower Books p.53; Hunt Redouteana 6; Nissen BBI 321; Stafleu and Cowan 983. Catalogued by Kate Hunter