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His childhood, his youth

     Édouard Maubert was born in Calais , rue de la Cloche, 30 January 1806. It is the first child of Pierre Edouard Alexandre Maubert whose family, originally from Thiers in Auvergne comes to settle in this city, Rue Royale, as a master knifemaker merchant, around 1775.

     His mother, Rosalie Catherine Joseph, born Juhé, belongs to a family with a certain reputation. Originally from Juhé, citizen of Paris, his grandfather Jacques Juhé lived rue Montmartre near the St. Eustache church. In the ancestry of Rosalie, there Joseph Juhé who is secretary of the military general headquarters of the province of Franche-Comte. She is also related to Crosnier, master mercer "attached to the King" at Versailles, through the marriage of his uncle Pierre Juhé citizen of Paris, with Elizabeth Crosnier.

     From her childhood in Calais, we know that Edouard Maubert operates in a skilled craftsmen, designers and independent, he undoubtedly keep this rigor and scientific precision that will prove useful in the practice of botanical drawing.

     From its beginnings as a painter in his hometown to his early work published in Paris, Edouard Maubert follows a learning path that is to date still unknown. It is believed that Mary Louise Vanderpuyl (1776-1839) and his father Gerard Vanderpuyl (1750-1824) from Utrecht featuring miniature portraits, teaching drawing at the Academy of Calais, have contributed to the formation of Edouard Maubert. For his mastery of watercolor, it is assumed that the teaching of his technique was certainly completed by Louis Francia (1772-1839), painter of Calais, which acquires its reputation in England as secretary of Company of watercolor painter and the official painter to the Duke of York.



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Old town of Thiers on the river Durolle



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Church of Notre Dame de Calais



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Rue Royale in Calais

His relations with people of Calais

     Three men, key players in local life of Calais, will weigh on his destiny and probably show him the path that leads to the “Jardin du Roi” in Paris and thus, the path to the Musé d'Histoire naturelle. We can also say about Louis Francia, he is well known to scientific societies and publishers in Paris. He is listened to by the royal family of Orleans and also by Antoine Leleux who is President of the Agricultural Society editor, printer and owner of the largest library of Calais, Rue Royale and founder of two local weeklies, the "Journal de Calais" and the "Industriel calaisien".
     His uncle, Mathias Maubert Director and Professor of school of Music rue de la comédie strongly influences daily life of Edouard. Mathias is in fact a member of the Philharmonic Society in Calais, where he does not hesitate to use his pen, between 1825 and 1833, to write under the headings of Louis Francia in the local weeklies. From this cradle of influence, Edouard Maubert need only make one step to begin his career as a painter in Paris.  








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Journal de Calais  - 1829 -

Paris Adventure

      Evoking Edouard Maubert, without placing him in historical context would be incomplete.

      In France, the nineteenth century was marked by the industrial revolution emerging that will transform gradually the European landscape. In addition, the prodigious development of sciences, the knowledge and the spectacular enthusiasm for the botanic and the horticulture, become the challenge of a society willing to change his environment and everyday life. It is in this profusion of ideas and new activities, many plant collections formed on all sides, and new species from more distant countries come every day to adorn the gardens and greenhouses.

      The life of Edward Maubert will evolve in this context. "Painting Flowers" will not be without influence on its future.

      The direction taken by his life, forcing Edouard to leave Calais in 1837 at the age of thirty years to try his luck in Paris. He settled first in the 5th arrondissement, rue Copeau, community of artists and students, then at 22 bis rue du Marché aux Chevaux, to few steps from the Jardin des Plantes. At number 33 in the same street, Jacques Julien Margottin (1817-1892), well-known rose grower, cultivates its famous roses in this area of Paris that is so great horticultural left.




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street of Marché aux Chevaux
today Geoffroy St Hilaire

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Jardin des plantes
outside the greenhouse 1842

A course in serving science


      Consequently, things go fast. From 1838, his talent attracts the attention and earned him admission to a community of botanists at the heart of the Muséum d'Histoire naturelle then headed by Eugene Chevreul, and within the Société Royale d'Horticulture founded in 1827, under the impulse Viscount Héricart de Thury (1776-1854).

      This very productive period for the botanist painter gives him the status of

"peintre d'Histoire naturelle".

      This collaboration is well confirmed by numerous illustrations under the direction of the most eminent scientists of the nineteenth century has ever counted the Museum: : J.J. Auguste Loiseleur Deslongchamps (1874-1849), Charles d'Orbigny (1806-1876), Charles Lemaire (1800 -1871), Joseph Decaisne (1807-1882 ).... Among them, the well-established status, Maubert was going to dig a respectable place.

      Real encyclopedic “monuments” are made. May be mentioned one of those first great books, the Dictionnaire universel d'Histoire naturelle (1842-1861), with many botanical plates in folio engraved on copper or wood and colored, executed by hand.

      But what would make to Edouard Maubert quasi European reputation, was the iconography that he illustrated. The collaboration Lemaire - Maubert will produce the "Iconographie descriptives des Cactées" published in H. Cousin. Then, the Belgian Jean Jules Linden famous orchid huntsman will present the "Pescatorea", the Iconography of Orchids (1854 to 1860).

      Drawing rigorously the plant world always in agreement with the scientific discourse, Edouard draws the Atlas part of the 17 volumes of "Règne végétal" under the guidance of botanists and professors of the Faculty of Medicine: Herincq, Dupuis, Reveil and Gerard.



Musé d'Histoire naturelle


Descriptive Iconography of Cacti



 Painter of Roses


      But the rose, preserving its secular position of "Queen of Flowers ", could not escape the brush of Edward Maubert. It will make it one of his finest achievements.

      Portraits made by Edward Maubert are extremely delicate and the like (some would say beyond), the work of rightly admired Redouté (1759-1840).

     Edouard Maubert uses the subtle tones of watercolor and then shows that this art can capture the various shades and fix the brightness and the fragility of flowers. There is not content to paint in his studio, he moves more often on hand to accurately describe the sometimes ephemeral wealth of these gardens.

        In 1844 a book of a hundred Roses, "Le Choix des plus belles Roses " showed elites of roses painted to vellum in natural size. This book was a compendium of the work.



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Le règne végétal


Watercolor painting


His technique, watercolor over pencil drawing then reproduced by engraving over copper or wood was the best technique to represent as faithfully as possible the subjects of nature. His goal, achieve a perfection of analysis: the liveliness of the plant, its colors, what is important to recognize, and characterize.

In the skinning of its plates, the plant is shown in front in the space reserved for it. Nothing must disturb the naturalistic analysis. The painter fits a set of shadow and light over the delicate petals or leaves for rendering models, airbrushed, hand-colored, are enhanced with gum arabic to give more brightness.



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plate from règne végétal

An artist of many talents


But do not imagine that Edward Maubert is just  a painter of roses! Browse his work is superb flick picture books where many flowers are so well represented as we could almost smell their fragrance.

Maubert talent is not restricted to the art of botanical drawing: excellent zoologist artist, he repeated at the end of his life portraits of wildlife from different continents, Cape Horn, Mexico and Madagascar where it was dispatched scientific missions and implemented large shipments.

His son and pupil Gabriel Edouard Louis Leon Maubert (Paris from 1853 to 1911) that initiates early in painting and wood carving, sharing with him the picture of some in these works to the " Muséum d'Histoire naturelle ".

Note also the freshness of a Virgin represented in a wreath of flowers called " Notre Dame des Épines fleuries ". The delicate brush stroke here modeling a button flower, vein or even an insect, then a drop in dew, confirms the diversity of their talent. It contains their signature "Maubert father and son" including the "Journal des Roses (1877-1814)" ...

The end of his life is entirely occupied with this task and in any case the flowers have always inspired Edward Maubert.
He died April 30, 1879 in his Paris apartment, 15 Rue de Buffon in the 5th district, as he continued to paint his last rose, entitled "Charles Margottin" for the "Journal des Roses".

He has done an important work whose twenty major works for many scientists. The majority are kept in public collections.


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La Vierge aux épines fleuries -1876-

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Rose Charles Margottin –1879-