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Pierre Antoine Poiteau: 1850 Botanical Prints

Pierre Antoine Poiteau: 1850 Botanical Prints

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Published by CTG Publishing
View the botanical prints of Poiteau who was a gardener to the King, a member of the Seine region's Royal Agriculture Society, Chief Gardener of the Royal Chateau of Fontainebleau and Versailles, Editor of Bon Jardiner as well as the Director of culture and royal habitation in the French Guiana.

Poiteau was also a self-educated man, the son of a poor farmer. He loved botany and sought to improve himself throughout his life, often embarrassed by his shortcomings. He endured remarkable hardships. He often fell sick from the hard labor of his father's profession. This did not discourage him.

He learned French and Latin at 25 years of age and decided to learn to draw at the age of 31 since he felt he expressed himself poorly. He thought you were never to old to learn. So he learned to draw in Santo Domingo from Turpin, another famous botanical artist, and Poiteau taught Turpin how to identify plants. The friendship lasted a lifetime.

Enjoy this remarkable man's prints and explore his life.
View the botanical prints of Poiteau who was a gardener to the King, a member of the Seine region's Royal Agriculture Society, Chief Gardener of the Royal Chateau of Fontainebleau and Versailles, Editor of Bon Jardiner as well as the Director of culture and royal habitation in the French Guiana.

Poiteau was also a self-educated man, the son of a poor farmer. He loved botany and sought to improve himself throughout his life, often embarrassed by his shortcomings. He endured remarkable hardships. He often fell sick from the hard labor of his father's profession. This did not discourage him.

He learned French and Latin at 25 years of age and decided to learn to draw at the age of 31 since he felt he expressed himself poorly. He thought you were never to old to learn. So he learned to draw in Santo Domingo from Turpin, another famous botanical artist, and Poiteau taught Turpin how to identify plants. The friendship lasted a lifetime.

Enjoy this remarkable man's prints and explore his life.

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Published by: CTG Publishing on May 14, 2013
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PIERRE ANTOINE POITEAU r
1850 BOTANICAL PRINTS
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The source of information for this biography is from

PIERRE ANTOINE POITEAU [1766-1854]

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the French article by François Hérincq as it appeared in L’Horticulteur français in 1872. PIERRE ANTOINE POITEAU was born the 23rd of March, 1766, in the village of Âmbleny close to Soissons (Aisne). Although his father was poor and did not know how to read or write, he believed in education and sent his son, at the age of six, to study at Viviers school. The school cost 20 cents per month and 48 cents per year. It is uncertain what Antoine learned during these years. After his first communion, his father thought him of the proper age to introduce him into his trade as a thresher. His son did not adapt well to the life of hard labor and soon became gravely ill. After recovering, Poiteau became a lemonade boy at the cafe of Noyon for a year and then returned for a second attempt at his father’s trade. This soon resulted in a decline in his health and his father realized that this would not be a suitable
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profession for his son. The priest of Viviers obtained a position for Poiteau as a choir boy and gardener’s apprentice at the convent des de-moiselles de Saint-Denis for 20 écus, about 100 francs. After two years of apprenticeship, he took a position for 100 francs as a gardiner with lady Hasard, a widow of a forestry official (gard-marteau) for the forest of Villers-Gotterets. Unable to advance, he left for Paris but soon found his savings depleted and returned to VillersGotterets where he found work for 20 cents per day. He then took several positions, first at a convent in Soissons and then in Saint-Paul for about 150 and 200 francs. Although he had held the title of Chief Gardener, he knew that his knowledge of gardening was not what it should be and he wished to perfect his art. He once again returned to Paris and found work as a farmer for 18 francs a month plus 18 cents on Sundays. The year was 1789, Poiteau was 23 and the French Revolution was just starting. Three months later, Poiteau was without a job since his employer did not keep farmers through the winter season. During this period, it was hard to find work as a gardener
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je ne savais même pas deux mots de français. He wrote to Poiret that his original intention in securing his position was to learn only the names of the plants but soon found himself learning about the plants themselves. pour la première fois. Louis XVI’s royal doctor. He made a second attempt armed with a recommendation of Lemonnier.CTGPUBLISHING.no knowledge of Latin or grammar and his little knowledge of French.” WWW. et je n’avais jamais entendu parler de la grammaire.” écrivait-il à Poiret. “Mon intention. Loin de savoir le latin. car je n’avais encore nulle idée de la botanique. A few months later he became a gardener at the pharmacy school. and was accepted. Mais mon naturel studieux ne voulut pas que je m’en tinsse aux seuls noms des plantes. C’est alors que. During this time became resolute to obtain a position at the Jardin des Plantes of Paris but was refused the first time. mais seulement leur nom. “en sollicitant un emploi dans ce jardin. n’était pas d’apprendre à connaître les plantes.and so he briefly worked as a polisher at the mirror factory of faubourg Saint-Antoine. He writes about the shortcomings of his education -. il voulut que je les étudiasse en ellesmêmes. je connus de quel prix est l’instruction.COM .

including his inability to speak his own language. En portant mes arrosoirs. about his appointment and Paillet was candid with Poiteau about what the position entailed and his shortcomings. Thouin to a government’s expedition to La Peyrouse. He told Paillet. He kept his books near him at all times. Bientôt je passai mes soirées à traduire à coups de dictionnaire. “Je tenais mon rudiment d’une main. The appointment was for 600 francs. Quand je labourais la terre. et je conjuguais des verbes. je déclinais des noms. enfin j’entendis quelques mots du Systema vegetabilium. “tandis que je prenais mes repas de l’autre. Poiteau was ashamed by his lack of education and so. threw himself into the study of French and Latin while he continued to work. il était toujours dans ma poche.” WWW. He referenced the books during breaks and recited words and conjugated verbs while watering.COM . He was overjoyed since he could dedicate himself entirely to the study of plants.CTGPUBLISHING. at the age of 25. a professor at the college of Versailles.” dit-il dans la notice qu’il adresse à l’auteur de l’Encydopédie méthodique.Poiteau was offered an appointment by M. reading with one hand and eating with the other. et je l’interrogeais toutes les fois que la fatigue du travail me forçait à prendre haleine.

CTGPUBLISHING. In 1794.COM . He finally arrived in Rocheford but Thouin had left no commission or authorization to board. after explaining his predicament. found himself without a position or resources. He left for Rochefort but was imprisoned in Bordeaux as a suspect but was soon released because of intervention of an officer he knew from his service in the Pyrenées army. he was unable to find a place to sleep and so camped out under the government’s palace where he was discovered by an aide and detained. the project was not funded and Poiteau. Upon his arrival. having left his post at the Jardin des Plantes. He was released in the morning and.This self-education took about 8 months but he was rewarded with an appointment as the director of the fruit trees for the museum. He received his authorization on the evening of the departure and boarded with no provisions other than the 24 cents in his pocket. He was employed to study the vegetation of the island. It took 35 days for the boat to arrive in Saint-Domingue at Cap français. He entered the army of Pyrenées-Orientales but was again without a job after the war with Spain ended in 1795. Unfortunately. In 1796. Thouin recommended him to create a garden at Bergerac (Dordogne). was given some breakfast WWW. Thouin appointed Poiteau to the expedition of Saint-Domingue.

For two months he received patient rations from a hospital. For five months he labored. about the value of illustration in botanical studies. he began to illustrate plants. This is when Poiteau also learned. Poiteau was named as the gardener. he gained employment as a laborer in order to eat. He felt abandonned by the world and soon found himself hospitalized. WWW.COM . Upon his recovery. Poiteau did not discourage and soon found an opportunity with the commissioners of the government who decided to open a botanical garden to instruct children on the elements of agriculture. as he communicates in a letter to de Jussieu. His fortunes changed when General Hédouville arrived in Saint-Domingue and. The expedition’s agents could not agree on what to do with him. Since he believed that you are never to old to learn. His health gradually declined as well as his spirits as none of the letters that he rote to the Museum of Paris (Jardin des Plantes) were answered.CTGPUBLISHING. after learning of his predicament. declared his mission useless and refused him any resources. hired him at 25 gourdes per month with the promised of a fixed appointment.and enough money to remove his baggage from the boat.

” This is where Poiteau also met Turpin. “mais je compris bientôt combien l’art du dessin est until à celui qui. Poiteau taught Turpin about plants and Turpin taught Poiteau about illustration.CTGPUBLISHING. comme moin.” dit-il dans une lettre à M. In 1801. another botanical artist. with the political instability. General Hédouville left Saint-Domingue. This friendship produced some of beautiful and important works in the botany. que l’on n’est jamais trop vieux pour apprendre. n’a pas l’art de s’exprimer avec cette précision que l’on voit partout dans vos ouvrages. General Consul to the United States. after five years of being in Saint-Domingue. WWW. Poiteau found work as an illustrator for military engineer but. he soon found himself imprisoned by the orders of Toussaint Louverture.“Je me livrai donc entièrement à la botanique. je me mis à dessiner et à faire marcher de front l’étude du dessin et la description des plantes. he arrived in France with his precious collection of plants and seeds which he brought to the Museum of Natural History who had never responded to any of his letters. Their friendship lasted a lifetime.COM . He was granted passage to the United States by Dr. de Jussieu. Stevens. D’après mon principe.

upon his return to France. he published his Cours d’horticulture. he published with Risso Histoire naturelle des Orangers. he became the editor of the annual reports for the Société royal d’horticulture from 1828 to 1848 and. In 1826. in 1817 gardiner for the park of Fontainebleau. he published botanical works which elevated him in the scientific community. In 1828.COM . he collaborated with Turpin on Histoire des arbres fruitiers but continued the work on his own from 1837 to 1847 under the name of Pomologie française. He held the post in French Guyana for about four years and left abruptly after an argument with the director of the regions. In 1818. he became a collaborator of the Dictionnaire d’Agriculture d’Aucher-Eloy and of the journals le Cultivateur and au Bon-Jardiner. In 1815. In 1820. The Société royal d’horticulture is the only pension that WWW. in these publications.In 1807. Soon after he was named as the botanist to the King and director of royal culture and habitation in French Guyana. he was named as the gardiner of Versailles and.CTGPUBLISHING.

Revue horticole. de Tussac (1808) • Pomologie française Vol.COM .CTGPUBLISHING. 1854. 1 (1846) • Pomologie française Vol. In 1829. 2 (1846) • Histoire naturelle des orangers (1818) q PIERRE ANTOINE POITEAU r 1850 BOTANICAL PRINTS WWW.Poiteau earned in his lifetime. he became the Chair for the Horticultural Institute of the Seine region until the overthrow of the French government in 1830. PLATES AND OTHER SOURCES: • L’ Horticulteur français 1872 • Flore des Antilles by F. In 1829.R. He then returned to writing and botanical illustrations. he founded the first French journal of horticulture. Poiteau died of a cerebral hemorrhage on the 27th of February.

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