Title
Grapevine
Contributor
Le Moyne de Morgues, Jacques, 1533?-1588 (Artist)
Date created
[ca. 1580]
Type of resource
Still image
Genre
Watercolors (paintings)
Format
Image
Digital origin
reformatted digital
Abstract/Description
Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, a French artist living in Elizabethan England, specialized in naturalistic florilegia. While living in Blackfriars, London during the 16th century, Le Moyne painted dozens of plants and animals native to English gardens; however, his work remained largely undiscovered until the 20th century. These meticulous recreations of Le Moyne's watercolor and gouache pieces highlight the balance between science and art during the sixteenth century.
Le Moyne masterfully captures the subject in his watercolor and gouache piece "Grapevine", c. 1580. "Grapevine" began as part of a series of botanicals presumably created for a wealthy English patron, though Le Moyne also painted similar pieces, including "Grape-vine" in the Victoria and Albert Museum. By painting reflected lights and dappled shadows from life, Le Moyne creates convincingly round grapes. In comparison, the curved leaves lack the impressive three-dimensionality of the globular grapevine. Twined vines at the top produce interesting negative space, though the narrow path between the leaves and border causes tension. Though it would be another century before Italian painters popularized the technique of chiaroscuro, Le Moyne's juxtaposition of shadowed grapes against a pale vellum background creates the same dramatic effect.
"Grapevine" exhibits one of the best watercolor studies of light during the sixteenth century.
Provenance
DuMarry
Related item
Grapevine
Botanical Watercolors
Subjects and keywords
Grapevine
Florilegia
Elizabethan era
European art
Grapes
Vitaceae
Plants
Fruit
Identifier
botanical_morgues_002
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