Fraisier de Montreuil


Fraisier de Montreuil, plate 121 from Pomologie Français by Pierre Antoine Poiteau. The stipple engraving was made by Bouquet. Pomologie Français, was published in episodes between 1838-1846 in Paris by Langlois et Leclercq. The image measures 30 x 20 cm and comes in a beautiful passe-partout. The print is in good condition.

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Pierre-Antoine Poiteau (23 March 1766 Âmbleny – 27 February 1854) was a French botanist, gardener and botanical artist. He was born in Ambleny, France. After working in vegetable gardens and for the Parisian market gardeners, he was appointed garçon jardinier at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris in 1790 by André Thouin (1746-1824). There he studied Linnaeus’ Systema vegetabilium and painting with the artist of the museum Gérard van Spaendonck (1746-1822) but his main influence is Redouté (1759-1840). Thouin appointed him head of the botanical school of Paris two years later, but in 1793 Daubenton chose him to found a botanical school and garden in Bergerac. This project failed and in 1796 Thouin offered Poiteau to go to Santo Domingo. He was arrested immediately after landing because he had no official papers to justify his presence. Soon after, he was in Haiti, in charge of the new Cape Botanical Garden. Not receiving any wages, he had to join the administration as an assistant to Hédouville and Roume, the island’s governors. In 1802 he brought back to France six hundred packets of seeds and 1200 species, all named and classified by him. Among them were 97 species of mushrooms and 30 species of lichen. He published in Paris in 1808 with Pierre Jean François Turpin (1775-1840) whom he met in Haiti, Flora Parisiensis secundum systema sexual deposita et plantarum circa Lutetiam sponte nascentium descriptiones, icones…. After several years of free literary activity, in 1815 he was appointed head of the Royal Nursery of Versailles. In 1816 he published a description of the plants grown in the botanical garden of the School of Medicine in Paris. Two years later, he and Antoine Risso (1777-1845) published Histoire naturelle des orangers (Natural history of the orange trees). In 1818, Poiteau went to French Guiana where he supervised the cultures of the royal plantations. Back in France in 1822, he was appointed head gardener of the Château de Fontainebleau. From 1829 to 1851 he directed the Revue horticole. In 1835, with Pierre-Jean-François Turpin, he published a new edition of the Traité des arbres fruitiers (Treatise of Fruit Trees) by Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau (1700-1782) and, in 1846, Pomologie française. Recueil des plus beaux fruits cultivés en France… (French Pomology). In 1848 and 1853 the two volumes of his Cours d’horticulture (Lessons of Horticulture) were published. A member of many scientific societies, Poiteau later became head of the natural history museum, to which he offered all the animals and plants he had brought from Guyana. Poiteau discovered numerous species of plants and animals, he even created some families (cyclanthae, for example). As a gardener and pomologist, he contributed much to the improvement of edible fruits. He is appreciated as an artist and his colored lithographs are sought after by amateurs. For this reason, he is often compared to Pierre-Joseph Redouté. He died in Paris.