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Watercolour - Cornflower
  • Cornflower
    Le Moyne de Morgues, Jacques, born 1533 - died 1588
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  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (possibly, painted)

  • Date:

    ca.1575 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Le Moyne de Morgues, Jacques, born 1533 - died 1588 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour and bodycolour

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case DP, shelf 19, box CI

Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues (1533?-1588) was a French painter, illustrator and explorer. He also worked in London and accompanied the explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) on his expeditions to Florida in North America. This watercolour is one of 59 studies of flowers, fruits and butterflies by Le Moyne De Morgues in the V&A collection. Such detailed drawings were probably intended to serve as a reference for designers and makers of jewellery, embroiderers or other craftsmen.

Physical description

Two sided sheet. One side with a botanical illustration of cornflower; the other with an illustration of a corn cockle.

Place of Origin

England (possibly, painted)


ca.1575 (painted)


Le Moyne de Morgues, Jacques, born 1533 - died 1588 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour and bodycolour


Height: 27.5 cm, Width: 18.7 cm

Object history note

The drawing from this series were acquired in 1856 as one of the first purchases of the V&A, almost by accident, and solely because they were bound up in an extremely fine French late-16th-century brown calf binding.

Descriptive line

Botanical illustration of cornflower and corn cockle, a sheet from a series of drawings of English flowers, fruits etc. by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, ca. 1575

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

100 Great Paintings in The Victoria & Albert Museum.London: V&A, 1985, p.46
Paul Hulton, The Work of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, A Huguenot Artist in France, Florida and England, vol. I, London, 1977, p. 158

The following is the full text of the entry:

13. Recto. Cornflower
Plate 24b

Cornflower, Centaurea cyanus L. The ray florets are dull blue, the central florets nearly black, tipped with white, the stigma whitish.

Watercolours and bodycolours; the lower left-hand corner of the folio missing; 275 x 187 mm; 10 ¾ x 7 ⅜ in.

Inscribed at the foot, Baptilessere, also Cornille and numbered 23.


LITERATURE: Savage (1923).

An example of the darkening with time of some of the colours used by Le Moyne. The natural colour of the cornflower is bright blue.

Verso. Corn Cockle
Plate 24c

Corn Cockle, Agrostemma githago L. The flower, top left, inside the petals is reddish purple with deep red rays, the calyx dark green, the other flowers, seen from the outside, dull mauve.

Watercolours and bodycolours.

Inscribed at the foot, Nigella. , also Nielle and numbered 24.

LITERATURE: Savage (1923).

Some similarity to the ‘Cockle’, no. 104 of H.F.

Spencer Savage, ‘Early botanical painters. No. 3. – Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues’ in The Gardeners’ Chronicle, 3rd s., vol. LXXIII (1923)


Watercolour; Bodycolour

Subjects depicted

Corn cockle; Cornflowers


Paintings; Drawings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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