Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues, Borage

Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues, Borage

Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues (1533?-88)
Borage, Borago officinalis
About 1568-72
Watercolour
Museum no. AM.3267K-1856

The V&A holds 59 studies of fruit and flowers painted by French artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues. These drawings were probably intended to serve as a reference for designers and makers of jewellery, embroiderers or other craftsmen.

In the 16th century botanical illustrators revived the practice of working from real plants. The degree of naturalistic detail in the borage suggests that Le Moyne was studying living plants. In his drawing, Le Moyne not only depicts every tiny hair that covers the plant but also the damage suffered by the lower leaf and broken stem.

The watermark in the paper is the same as that used in Paris and Arras in 1568. It seems likely that the watercolours date from the period between 1568 and 1572, when Le Moyne fled to England with other Huguenots (French Protestants) to escape religious persecution in France.

This drawing can be found in Print Room Box DP1.