Bessa was born in the Marais district of Paris in 1772 and was a French natural history artist, best known for his botanical illustrations. He was most influenced by the work of Pierre-Joseph Redouté, with whom he also studied.
Bessa illustrated some of the most important botanical publications by the leading French botanists, horticulturists and agriculturists of the day, portraying new species of fruits, flowers and trees from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia.
Bessa’s most important commission, however, was for a series of 572 watercolours on vellum to illustrate Jean-Claude-Michel Mordant de Launay’s "Herbier général de l’amateur", commissioned by Charles X, King of France and arguably the most significant French flower book of the day. Published in eight volumes, the project was begun in 1815 and the artist worked on the series until 1826.
Pancrace Bessa’s original watercolours for the Herbier général de l’amateur remained together for over 120 years. In 1826 the entire series of drawings on vellum was given by King Charles X (1757-1836) to his daughter-in-law, the Duchesse de Berri, born Princess Caroline of Naples and Sicily (1798-1870). Forty-six watercolours by Bessa for the Herbier général de l’amateur are today in the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris.
This plate is with the descriptive text, with names of the plants in Latin.
Bibliography Reference: Nissen, BBI 2323; Sitwell, Great Flower Books, p. 159; Pritzel 6418.
- Pancrage Bessa 1772-1846
- Title of artwork
- Set -3- Original Antique Handpainted Engraving - Cactus, Grewia, Philadelphus kfq
- Engraving, Watercolour
- Plate signed
- In very good condition
- Sold with frame
- Total dimensions
- 25×15×0 cm