Vallet, Pierre (c. 1575 - c. 1642)

Plate from Pierrre Vallet's 'Le JardiIn du très chretien Henry IV'. Plate from Pierrre Vallet's 'Le JardiIn du très chretien Henry IV'.

Pierre Vallet (sometimes written Valet) was born in Orléans, France, and became known as a botanical artist, engraver and embroidery designer. He worked at the French court under the patronage of Marie de Médici of Florence (1575-1642), the second wife of Henry IV (1553-1610). Vallet published various botanical theses with paintings of indigenous flowers as well as of more exotic forms from Africa.

Pierre Vallet’s most famous work is Le Jardin du très Chrestien Henry IV ('The Garden of the most Christian Henry IV'), which was published in 1608 (2nd edition: 1623; 3rd edition 1650 under the title Hortus regius).

This book was often used as a source book for floral motifs in seventeenth century embroidery and textile designs. The French writer, Roger de Felice, noted in his book French Furniture in the Middle Ages and under Louis XIII (1923) that: "The favourite motifs for embroidery and needlework were large flowers and fruits done in natural colours. We know that the Jardin du Roi, the Jardin des Plantes of to-day, was expressly established under Henri IV, by the gardener Jean Robin and by Pierre Vallet, the king’s embroiderer, to provide the embroiderers both male and female with new models inspired by exotic plants." (de Felice 1923:141-142)


  • FELICE, Roger, de (1923). French Furniture in the Middle Ages and Under Louis XIII, trans. by F.M. Atkinson, London: William Heinemann.
  • GRISELLE, Eugene (1912). Supplément à la Maison du Roi Louis XIII, Paris: P. Catin.


Digital source of illustration (retrieved 18 June 2016).


Last modified on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 13:23