Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (about 1533-88)
'Wild Strawberry and Female Emperor Moth, Fragaria vesca and Saturnia pavonia'
Museum no. AM.3267.bb-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 clearly familiar with the living plant, the general outline is derived from an earlier illustration by the botanist Fuchs. The pinks on the other hand appear to have been drawn straight from nature.
The 59 Le Moyne watercolours in the V&A entered the Museum in 1856, when the institution purchased the album containing them for its exemplary early leather binding.
Not until 1922 were the watercolours inside recognised as important works of art in their own right, and what is more, the work of Le Moyne de Morgues. They have since become amongst the most frequently-requested works on paper in the Print Room.
This print can be found in Print Room Box DP3.