Redoutâ€š's name is known through the popularity of his rose and lily paintings, but few people know anything about the man who was court-appointed painter to both Marie Antoinette and Empress Josephine, and who said to Napoleon, ""Painting flowers may be something small, but it is what I do best, because it is what I love most."" Redoutâ€š's simple botanical drawings of single flowers were quite revolutionary in the late 18th- and early 19th-centuries when the fashion was for glamorous portraits and mythological scenes. He was not intentionally radical, but painted from a love for the gardens in the abbey near his boyhood home, and later for the gardens of Paris where he went to paint theater scenery. Although the book doesn't include a reproduction of one of Redoutâ€š's paintings for those who do not know his work, Croll (The Three Brothers, 1991, etc.) accurately recreates the life of an artist in an age when patronage was the only secure path. The pictures are charming, colorful, and clear, and show interesting details of life--in particular the ladies' fashions over several decades. Very pretty.