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Friday, May 11, 2012

Offering of the Day: An Exquisite Watercolor of Seminal Historical Importance by Jacques Le Moyne



 Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (circa 1533-1588)
A Thistle and a Caterpillar
Gouache on vellum. 
5 7/8 x 4 1/3 inches
Inscribed on verso: 34.
$600,000


This watercolor on vellum is amongst the finest work of the Huguenot artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, whose extraordinary career and oeuvre have only relatively recently been defined and described (see Paul Hulton, “The Work of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, A Huguenot Artist in France, Florida, and England,” 2 vols., London, 1977).  The varied circumstances of Le Moyne's artistic production must surely by unique in the history of art; although large periods of his career are undocumented, he appears to have worked as a court artist in France, under Charles IX, is known to have traveled to Florida in 1564, as official artist and cartographer to the ill-fated French attempt to establish a colony there, and to have ended his career as a highly regarded botanical artist in Elizabethan London, where his patrons included Sir Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (circa 1533-1588).


 Le Moyne’s A Thistle and a Caterpillar is illustrated in Paul Hulton’s “The Work of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, A Huguenot Artist in France, Florida, and England,” 2 vols., London, 1977, plate 49d (no. 90).

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