A. Poiteau


Artist Biography:

Pierre-Antoine Poiteau was born in Ambleny, France in 1766. He was a self-taught botanist and artist who spent his early career working as a gardener at the Jardin des Plantes. Whilst there, he made a great impression and was chosen to set up a botanic garden in Bergerac. The project wasn’t a great success and in 1796, Poiteau was sent as a plant collector to Santo Domingo. From there he went to Haiti, where he met and became friends with Pierre Jean François Turpin (1775 - 1840), another botanical artist of the period. In 1802, Poiteau returned to France with six hundred packets of seeds and 1,200 species, all of which he had named and classified. Among them were 97 species of mushrooms and 30 species of lichens. In 1808 in Paris, Poiteau published with Turpin "Flora Parisiensis Secundum Systema Sexuale Deposita Et Plantarum Circa Lutetiam Sponte Nascentium Descriptiones, Icones..." From 1816 and throughout the rest of his life, Poiteau published many botanical descriptions and illustrations including two volumes of "Cours d' Horticulture" (Lessons of Horticulture). He discovered numerous species of plants and animals and even created some plant families, of which cyclanthae is an example. As an artist, Poiteau’s work is often compared to that of Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759 - 1840). Working with Rédouté's printer, Langlois, Poiteau achieved a wonderfully realistic and tactile quality in his prints. His scientific knowledge also informed his illustrations and made them some of the most accurate of the time. Pierre-Antoine Poiteau died in Paris in 1854.

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