This rich, folio botanical stipple engraving is from Gérard van Spaendonck’s Fleurs dessinées d’après nature. The work was published in Paris circa 1800. The engravings were mostly completed by P. F. Le Grand for the work with some done by L. C. Ruotte, Carrée, J. Godefroy, and A. L. X. Chaponnier.
This work was exceedingly rare. “Copies are occasionally found either hand-coloured or printed in colour and retouched with watercolour. . . the watercolour serves in fact to cloak the delicacy of the stipple-work. In their black-and-white state, these prints may well claim to be the finest flower-engravings ever made.” (Great Flower Books, 77)
Gerard Van Spaendonck (1746-1822) was a Dutch painter and professor. He was a master to Pierre Joseph Redouté, who further perfected his style of stipple engraving botanicals. “Becoming a master in the art of engraving, Gérard Van Spaendonck added to his compositions very small dots intended to refine the rendering of details and nuance the colors (technique known as “spit”)… [He was] Appointed painter to the Cabinet of Queen Marie-Antoinette in 1786, he was also a professor of renowned, who can boast of counting Pierre-Joseph Redouté among his students. (Great Flower Books, 77)