French Botanical Art Succeeding Redouté
by Jutta Buck
with Cynthia Rice
Among the younger generation of French botanical artists of the nineteenth century, Alfred Riocreux (1820-1912) stands out. Trained as a painter of porcelain by his father, who had been employed by Sevres near Paris, Riocreux at the age of thirteen was so accomplished that his drawings became a part of the collection of drawings at Sevres. While still employed there, Riocreux attracted the attention of the botanist Theodore Brongniart (1801-1876), who introduced him to botanical art. This new endeavor drew Riocreux to the Musem d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, where he met the botanist Joseph Decaisne (1807-1882), who later commissioned Riocreux to prepare the drawings for his splendid Le Jardin Fruitier du Museum (1862-1882). In addition to countless illustrations for books, Riocreux also contributed drawings to the Revue Horticole published in Paris continuously since 1829. His work is also held in the Museum Nationale d'Histoire Naturelle.
(L) Crinum amabile from Herbier general de l'amateur, 2nd series, vol.1, Audot, Paris 1839-. Artist, Alfred Riocreux. Stipple engraving printed in color and finished by hand
(R) Amaryllis by Alfred Riocreux, n.d. Watercolor with gum arabic on paper
Other accomplished artists from this period included Louis-Aristide-Leon Constans, J.R.Guillot, Charles Cuisin, Louise Descamps-Sabouret, E. Godard and Johann Jakob Jung (1819-1844). Jung's illustrations appear in Icongraphie du genre Camellia (1839-1843) by Abbe Laurent Berlese (1784-1863).