Paris: Firmin Didot, 1817-1824. Stipple engraving printed in black, after Redoute, printed by Remond. Very good condition apart from some overall light soiling and slight rippling. Sheet size: 14 x 10 1/2 inches. A rare uncoloured impression from the first edition of 'Les Roses': Redoute's most famous work, and perhaps the most celebrated flower book of all time.Pierre-Joseph Redoute, the most successful flower painter of all time, produced a work that was not only of great artistic merit, but also formed an invaluable scientific record. Redoute described and figured almost all the important roses known in his day, and included were many of the ancestors of today's roses. "The plates in 'Les Roses' have artistic value, botanical and documentary value, both for the species and cultivars still surviving and for those that have disappeared' (Gisele de la Roche). The roses used as specimens for the work were taken from the collections of Thory, the Malmaison gardens, and from other collections around Paris. Many of the flowers were novelties in Redoute's time, and a number were dedicated to the memory of his friends and acquaintances, such as l'Heritier de Brutelle and Ventenat.The plates of 'Les Roses' were executed by means of stipple engraving, a method ideally suited to render the nuances of tone found in Redoute's original water-colours. During a trip to London, he met the renowned engraver Francesco Bartolozzi and learned that the most successful impressions of stipple engravings came from well-used plates. Redoute's printers therefore struck a limited number of black plates to take the edge off the plate before printing in colours.This print was printed in black on ochre-tinted paper. The ochre tint has subsequently been removed to reveal Redoute's full mastery of the stipple-engraving technique that this image so effortlessly demonstrates.Cf. Cleveland Collections 807; cf. Dunthorne p 232; cf.