Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues, Wild Strawberry and Female Emperor Moth

Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues, Wild Strawberry and Female Emperor Moth

Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues (1533?-88)
Wild Strawberry and Female Emperor Moth, Fragaria vesca and Saturnia pavonia
About 1568-1572
Watercolour
Museum no. AM.3267BB-1856

Whilst some of Le Moyne's drawings are derived from the generalised illustrations of earlier books, others show him working directly from nature, including all the imperfections and particularities of individual specimens. With its mouth-wateringly realistic berries but strangely sinuous form this drawing of a wild strawberry lies somewhere in between: though showing a familiarity with the living plant, the general outline is derived from an earlier illustration by the botanist Fuchs. 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. 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 DP3.