Free Vintage Flower Illustration for Collage Art, Papercrafts, Scrapbooking or Wall Art: The Butterfly and the Rose 1

To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.
Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.
Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.
But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change.
It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
To love is to be vulnerable.
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

An antique botanical illustration showing a butterfly on a stalk of pink cabbage roses (Provence rose, Rosa x centiflora). The engraving was done by Langlois after a drawing by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759 - 1840).

The form of Rosa centiflora portrayed by Redouté in this print is a triumph of the hybridiser's art; of its kind, it is surely near perfection. It is not surprising that Centiflora roses came to be identified with the so-called Queen of Roses cultivated by the Greeks and Romans. This notion is romantic, but informed opinion now belives it to be mistaken. Rosa centiflora is thought to be a complex hybrid of four species known in western Europe in the late sixteenth century, which was evolved pver a period of about a hundred and thirty years and perfected in the early eighteenth century. The four species involved were Rosa rubra (the Apothecary's Rose or Rose of Provins), Rosa phoenicea (the Damask Rose or Crusaders' Rose), Rosa moschata (the Musk Rose) and Rosa canina (the Dog Rose).
[Source: Eve and Norman Robson, Plants (London: Studio Editions, 1990), p.84]

Download and print for wall art or to use in various altered art, graphic design, papercrafts or scrapbooking projects. You can find the free high-res 8" x 11" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here.

Below, you can see how I have paired the above botanical illustration with a vintage piece of French sheet music called "Le Papillon et La Rose." You can find the high-res JPEG of the sheet music here.

If you would like to download the combined illustration and sheet music image, you can find the high-res JPEG here.

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From my personal collection of ephemera. All digital scans by are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please credit and link back to as your source if you use or share this work.