Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Watercolour - Quince and apple
  • Quince and apple
    Le Moyne de Morgues, Jacques, born 1533 - died 1588
  • Enlarge image

Quince and apple

  • Object:

    Watercolour

  • Place of origin:

    France (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1575 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour and bodycolour on paper

  • Museum number:

    AM.3267Y-1856

  • Gallery location:

    Paintings, Room 88a, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries

This is one of 59 watercolours of fruit and flowers that the French artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues painted on 33 sheets. We do not know exactly when he painted them, but there are some clues. The watermark in the paper is the same as that used in Paris and Arras in 1568, and the binding is French. It therefore seems likely that they date from the period between 1568 and 1572. This is when Le Moyne fled to England with other Huguenots (French Protestants) to escape religious persecution in France.

The watercolours were originally in a fine tooled-leather binding dating to the late 16th century. Curators identified the watercolours as the work of Le Moyne in 1922. They removed them from the binding and mounted them individually. (The binding is in the collection of the National Art Library at the V&A.)

In the 16th century botanical illustrators revived the practice of working from real plants rather than copying from earlier painted or printed images. Here the degree of naturalistic detail, including leaves which have been damaged by insects, suggests that Le Moyne was studying a living specimen rather than using an existing illustrations as his source.

Physical description

Recto: botanical illustration of a quince.
Verso: botanical illustration of a branch on the apple tree, an apple, and a halved apple.

Place of Origin

France (painted)

Date

ca. 1575 (painted)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour and bodycolour on paper

Dimensions

Height: 24.2 cm estimate, Width: 26.3 cm estimate

Object history note

Purchased in 1856 as part of a sketchbook bought for its 16th-century binding. In 1922, De Morgues's signature was discovered and the significance of the watercolours recognised. Following this, the 34 leaves with watercolours were extracted from the volume to be transferred to the Prints and Drawings department (now Museum nos. A.M.3267a – 3267hh-1856). The binding remained in the library (National Art Library, 3267-1856).

Descriptive line

Watercolour, a quince on the recto and an apple on the verso, a sheet from a series of drawings of English flowers, fruits, etc., Jacques Le Moyne des Morgues, ca. 1575

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

Paul Hulton, The Work of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, A Huguenot Artist in France, Florida and England, vol. I, London, 1977, p. 160

The following is the full text of the entry:

24. Recto. Quince
Plate 29b

Quince, Cydonia oblonga Miller. The fruit is yellowish green with greyish bloom shading to dark green.

Watercolours and bodycolours, some black lead outlines visible; 275 x 196 mm; 10 ¾ x 7 ⅝ in.

Numbered 43.

AM.3267Y-1856

LITERATURE: Savage (1923) as ‘C. vulgaris’.

Verso. Apple
Plate 29c

Apple, Malus pumila Miller var. The fruit is yellowish brown shading through rose to deep red, the seeds a dark brown.

Watercolours and bodycolours.

Numbered 44.

LITERATURE: Savage (1922), (1923) as ‘Pyrus Malus, var.’.

Spencer Savage, ‘The discovery of some of Jacques Le Moyne’s botanical drawings’ in The Gardeners’ Chronicle, 3rd s., vol. LXXI (1922)

Spencer Savage, ‘Early botanical painters. No. 3. – Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues’ in The Gardeners’ Chronicle, 3rd s., vol. LXXIII (1923)
Gill Saunders, 100 Great Paintings in The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 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. 156

The following is the full text of the entry:

2. Recto. Daisy and Painted Lady Butterfly
Plate 19 b

Double Daisy, Bellis perennis L., var. hortensis L. The flowers are pink, deeper towards the yellowish centre. The Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa cardui (L.), seen from beneath. The wings are mottled in brown and white, deeper brown on the forward edges, the body is dark grey.

Watercolours and bodycolours; 274 x 183 mm; 10 ¾ x 7 ⅛ in.

Inscribed above the butterfly, The painted Lady revers’d and numbered 3.

AM.3267B-1856.

LITERATURE: Savage (1922), (1923).

Verso. Species Rose
Plate 19 c

Rose, Rosa sp. The flowers are pink, paler towards the outer edges, showing yellow stamens.

Watercolours touched with bodycolours.

Numbered 4.

LITERATURE: Savage (1922), (1923) as ‘Rosa sp.’

Spencer Savage, ‘The discovery of some of Jacques Le Moyne’s botanical drawings’ in The Gardeners’ Chronicle, 3rd s., vol. LXXI (1922)
Lambourne, L., Portraits of Plants, London: V&A, 1984.
FOR A RECONSTRUCTION OF THE SKETCHBOOK, SEE HERE.

Materials

Water-colour; Gouache

Subjects depicted

Apples

Categories

ELISE; Botanical art; Books; Manuscripts

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.