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    Sale 7586

    West ~ East - The Niall Hobhouse Collection

    22 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 362

    Pierre-Antoine Poiteau (Ambleny 1766-1854 Paris)

    A flax plant (Linum usitatissimum) with subsidiary studies of moths and lavae

    Price Realised  

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    Pierre-Antoine Poiteau (Ambleny 1766-1854 Paris)
    A flax plant (Linum usitatissimum) with subsidiary studies of moths and lavae
    pencil, watercolour, heightened with gum arabic, on vellum
    16¼ x 11¾ in. (41.3 x 29.8 cm.)


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    Born at Ambleny, near Soissons, Pierre-Antoine Poiteau spent the early part of his career as an apprentice at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris where he trained as a botanist. On completion of his apprenticeship he was asked to found the Bergerac botanical garden and was then sent by the Jardin to San Domingo to collect plant specimens. It was here that he met fellow botanist and draughtsman Pierre-Jean-François Turpin (1775-1840) with whom he collaborated on several botanical publications including Flora Parisiensis (1808), Traité des arbes fruitiers (1807-1835) and Plantes equinoxiales (1808). Poiteau also collaborated with Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840) and Pancrace Bessa (1772-1846) contributing designs for several books including those of Etienne-Pierre Ventenat and Jean-Claude Michel Mordant de Launay.
    Poiteau's skill in illustration was heavily influenced by his scientific knowledge of plants. He saw draughtsmanship as the basis to any scientific study and once exclaimed 'drawing and description are made for each other, each pointing out the other's failings or omissions. This is so true that I sometimes had to alter some descriptions I happened to have made before drawing a subject. I feel it my duty to describe and draw each plant before it goes into my collection' (E. Hardouin-Fugier, The pupils of Redouté, Leigh-on-Sea, 1981, p. 22).

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    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that this lot does not contain another study of a flax plant (English School) as detailed in the catalogue description. This lot only consists of that illustrated in the catalogue, by Pierre-Antoine Poiteau.