Jacques le Moyne

Jacques le Moyne de Morgues (c. 1533–1588) was a French artist and member of Jean Ribault's expedition to the New World. His depictions of Native American life and culture, colonial life, and plants are of extraordinary historical importance.

One of Theodor de Bry's engravings possibly based on le Moyne's drawings, depicting Athore, son of the Timucuan king Saturiwa, showing Laudonnière the monument placed by Ribault.
Exploration of Florida by Ribault and Laudonniere 1564 by Le Moyne de Morgues
Exploration of Florida by Ribault and Laudonniere, 1564, by Le Moyne de Morgues.
A Sheet of Studies of Flowers- A Rose, a Heartsease, a Sweet Pea, a Garden Pea, and a Lax-flowered Orchid MET 2004.78
A Rose, a Heartsease, a Sweet Pea, a Garden Pea, and a Lax-flowered Orchid Metropolitan Museum of Art


Until well into the 20th century, knowledge of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues was extremely limited, and largely confined to the footnotes of inaccessible ethnographic bibliographies, where he figures as the writer and illustrator of a short history of Laudonniere's attempt in 1564-5 to establish a Huguenot settlement in Florida. In 1922, however, Spencer Savage, librarian of the Linnean Society, made a discovery that opened the way to the subsequent definition of Le Moyne as an artistic personality; he recognized that a group of fifty-nine watercolors of plants contained in a small volume, purchased by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1856 solely for its fine sixteenth-century French binding, were in fact by Le Moyne. Savage's publications relating to this discovery prepared the way for subsequent attribution to the artist of other important groups of drawings and watercolors, which form the core of his known oeuvre.

Early life

Le Moyne was born about 1533, in Morgues, some 7 miles east of Châteaudun, in the Loire Valley, France. The first thirty years of his life are undocumented, but it seems reasonable to suppose that he trained as an artist in his native town, which was at the time a notable center both for cartography and for illumination. Le Moyne probably worked at the court of King Charles IX of France, although there is no documentary record to that effect, nor are there any surviving works by the artist dating from before his departure for Florida in 1564.

Expedition to Florida

Le Moyne accompanied the French expedition of Jean Ribault and René Laudonnière in an ill-fated attempt to colonize northern Florida. They arrived at the St. Johns River in 1564, and soon founded Fort Caroline near present-day Jacksonville.[1] Painting in the Calvinist style, he is mostly known for his artistic depictions of the landscape, flora, fauna, and, most importantly, the inhabitants of the New World. His drawings of the cultures commonly referred to as the Timucua (known through their reproduction by the Dutch publisher Theodor de Bry) are largely regarded as some of the most accessible data about the cultures of the Southeastern Coastal United States; however, many of these depictions and maps are currently being questioned by historians and archaeologists as to their authenticity. During this expedition he became known as a cartographer and an illustrator as he painted landscapes and reliefs of the land they crossed.

Ribault explored the mouth of the St. Johns River in Florida and erected a stone monument there before leading the party north and establishing an outpost of two dozen or so soldiers on Parris Island, South Carolina. He then sailed back to France for supplies and settlers. However, he was not able to reinforce the fort because while he had been gone, civil war had broken out in France. A truce in 1564 allowed Laudonniere to lead a new expedition, which founded Fort Caroline on the St. Johns Bluff in what is now Jacksonville. Many of the DeBry engravings depict the French fort and the local Saturiwa tribe, the Timucua group who lived at the mouth of the St. Johns in the area of Fort Caroline. Le Moyne also accompanied several inland expeditions from Ft. Caroline, and he made illustrations of many of the scenes he witnessed.

Laudonniere's expedition, though resulting in the production of the fascinating Le Moyne/de Bry publication and an important map of the coastal regions of Florida, was ultimately a disaster; the good relations initially established with the Indian tribes inhabiting the territories around the settlement site at St. Johns soon soured, in addition to which various members of the French party became disaffected, and revolted against their leaders.

The final coup de grâce came a year later, when a Spanish force from the Spanish colony of St. Augustine thirty miles to the south, attacked Laudonniere's stronghold at Fort Caroline. The Spanish, under the leadership of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, stormed the colony and killed most of the Huguenots, though Laudonnière, Le Moyne and about two dozen others escaped and were eventually rescued to England. Having lost their way on the return, they sailed half starved into Swansea Bay, England in mid-November 1565, and finally reached Paris early in 1566.

Le Moyne's highly important account of this transatlantic voyage, known today from a Latin edition published in Frankfurt in 1591 by Theodore de Bry under the title 'Brevis narratio eorum quae in Florida Americai provincia Gallis acciderunt,' clearly indicates that it was the King who instructed the artist to accompany the expedition, headed by Jean Ribault and Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere, as official recording artist and cartographer. Although only one original drawing by Le Moyne of an American subject is known today—the depiction of 'Athore showing Laudonniere the Marker Column set up by Ribault,' executed in watercolor and gouache on vellum, now in the New York Public Library—the 'Brevis narratio,' published by de Bry as the second volume of his great series of publications on voyages to the New World, contains forty-two engraved illustrations and maps alleged to have been made on the spot by Le Moyne. The text by de Bry describes and analyses these images, and his book constitutes a major landmark in the literature of the early exploration of the Americas.

Later life

Le Moyne fled France after the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of Huguenots in 1572, ultimately settling in England.[2] Le Moyne ended his career as a highly regarded botanical artist in Elizabethan London, where his patrons included Sir Walter Raleigh and Lady Mary Sidney.

Drawings and authenticity

All but one of Le Moyne's original drawings were reportedly destroyed in the Spanish attack on Fort Caroline; most the images attributed to him are actually engravings created by the Belgian printer and publisher Theodor de Bry, which are based on recreations Le Moyne produced from memory. These reproductions, distributed by Le Moyne in printed volumes, are some of the earliest images of European colonization in the New World to be circulated. Le Moyne died in London in 1588, and his detailed account of the voyage, Brevis narratio eorum quae in Florida Americai provincia Gallis acciderunt, was published in 1591. A re-edition of his paintings including critical response has been published in 1977 by the British Museum.

The images of the Timucua and related maps, said to be based on Le Moyne's drawings by de Bry, have fallen under intense scrutiny and their legitimacy as works related to Le Moyne are considered very questionable. Jerald Milanich, author of books on the Timucua and an archaeologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History has published an article in which he questions whether Le Moyne produced drawings of the Timucua at all, based on the unexplainable lack of any definite documentation or evidence. The one existing painting believed to be by Le Moyne himself (owned by the New York Public Library) has been argued to be a replica of one of de Bry's etchings, rather than a source for it, by anthropologist and ethnohistorian Christian Feest.[3]

Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues - Apple
Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (about 1533-1588, Apple (Malus pumila Millervar), 1568-1572, Watercolour and body colour on paper V&A Museum no. AM.3267Y-1856[4] Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Botanical paintings

The six documented works by the artist in private hands are exquisite gouaches which embody and combine in a most original manner three diverse artistic traditions: the first is that of manuscript illumination in Le Moyne's native France; the second is the recording of exotic and native flora, fauna and cultures, which was the artistic expression of the late sixteenth-century fascination with exploration and scientific investigation; and the third is the purely aesthetic love of flowers and gardens which was so apparent in Elizabethan court culture.[5] Le Moyne's work represents a transition from the medieval focus on the religious symbolism of plants in art to a Renaissance emphasis on scientific inquiry and beauty when creating botanical illustration.[6]

The most extravagant and exquisitely wrought of all Le Moyne's floral works are the six miniature-like gouaches from the Korner collection. Purchased as the work of an anonymous Netherlandish artist of circa 1600, their authorship was recognized by art historians Dr. Rosy Schilling and Mr. Paul Hutton, by comparison with the drawings by Le Moyne in the British Museum. These are generally similar in conception to the watercolors in the British Museum, and must also date from around 1585.[7] A number of his works are held in the Victoria and Albert Museum.[8]


  1. ^ (1997) The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates 10th Edition, Collins. ISBN 0-06-270192-4.
  2. ^ Hulton, Paul (1962). "An Album of Plant Drawings by Jacques le Moyne de Morgues". The British Museum Quarterly. 26 (1/2): 37–39. doi:10.2307/4422769. JSTOR 4422769.
  3. ^ See: Milanich, Jerald, "The Devil in the Details", Archaeology, May/June 2005.
  4. ^ "Apple (Malus pumila Millervar)". Prints & Books. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  5. ^ "Lemoyne De Morgues, Jacques". Aradergalleries.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  6. ^ "Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues | A Sheet of Studies of Flowers: A Rose, a Heartsease, a Sweet Pea, a Garden Pea, and a Lax-flowered Orchid | The Met". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met Museum. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  7. ^ "le moyne de morgues, ||| old master drawings ||| sotheby's l06040lot3cxknen". www.sothebys.com. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  8. ^ Victoria & Albert search: Le Moyne de Morgues


  • Heller, Henry. (2002) Labour, Science and Technology in France, 1500-1620, Cambridge University Press. p. 79. ISBN 0-521-89380-1.
  • Jacques LeMoyne
  • Exploring Florida: Jacques Le Moyne: Images of the engravings
  • Milanich, Jerald, "The Devil in the Details", Archaeology, May/June 2005, pp. 27–31.
  • Hulton, Paul, (1977) The Work of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues: A Huguenot Artist in France and Florida, 2 vol., British Museum Publications. ISBN 0-7141-0737-9
  • Harvey, Miles. (2008) Painter in a Savage Land: The Strange Saga of the First European Artist in North America, Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6120-4.

External links

1533 in art

The year 1533 in art involved some significant events and new works.

1533 in science

The year 1533 in science and technology included a number of events, some of which are listed here.

1588 in art

The year 1588 in art involved some significant events and new works.

1588 in science

The year 1588 in science and technology, Armada year, included a number of events, some of which are listed here.

16th century in Canada

Events from the 16th century in Canada.


According to the Cherokee Nation, Anejodi is a sport played between two even teams who compete over control of a ball which is used to strike a target on top of a pole. [1] Anejodi is the oldest known team sport in North America, having been first documented by French artist and explorer, Jacques LeMoyne in 1591, after he observed the sport being played by the Timucua People of present day Florida in the United States. LeMoyne illustrated the sport being played with a description that reads as follows, "The young men, they played a certain ball game in the following manner. A post was erected in the middle of an area, and the one who managed to hit the target on top with a ball was awarded a prize" (Library of Congress). Anejodi was also memorialized in a 20-foot-tall bronze statue in Oklahoma in the United States.Anejodi was reestablished as an American tradition in 1942 by Charles "Rip" Engle, a D1 Hall of Fame football and basketball coach, based on historical art and descriptions of the sport. Engle used the sport to condition American World War 2 service men and women at Brown University. Engle's legacy is carried on by ANGLEBALL USA & Worldwide which manufactures Anejodi equipment to Engle's specifications, in the United States.

Battle of Quebec (1690)

The Battle of Quebec was fought in October 1690 between the colonies of New France and Massachusetts Bay, then ruled by the kingdoms of France and England, respectively. It was the first time Quebec's defences were tested.

Following the capture of Port Royal in Acadia, during King William's War, the New Englanders hoped to seize Quebec itself, the capital of New France. The loss of the Acadian fort shocked the Canadiens, and Governor-General Louis de Buade de Frontenac ordered the immediate preparation of the city for siege.

When the envoys delivered the terms of surrender, the Governor-General famously declared that his only reply would be by "the mouth of my cannons." Major John Walley led the invading army, which landed at Beauport in the Basin of Quebec. However, the militia on the shore were constantly harassed by Canadian militia until their retreat, while the expedition's ships, commanded by Sir William Phips, were nearly destroyed by cannon volleys from the top of the city.

Both sides learned from the battle: the French improved the city's defences, while the New Englanders realized they needed more artillery and better support from England to take the city.

Black drink

Black drink is a name for several kinds of ritual beverages brewed by Native Americans in the Southeastern United States. Traditional ceremonial people of the Yuchi, Caddo, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, Muscogee and some other Indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands use the black drink in purification ceremonies. It was occasionally known as white drink because of the association of the color white with peace leaders in some Native cultures in the Southeast.The preparation and protocols vary between tribes and ceremonial grounds; a prominent ingredient is the roasted leaves and stems of Ilex vomitoria (commonly known as yaupon holly), a plant native to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Black drink also usually contains emetic herbs.

Botanical illustrator

A botanical illustrator is a person who paints, sketches or otherwise illustrates botanical subjects. Typical illustrations are in watercolour, but may also be in oils, ink or pencil, or a combination of these. The image may be life size or not, the scale is often shown, and may show the habit and habitat of the plant, the upper and reverse sides of leaves, and details of flowers, bud, seed and root system.

Botanical illustration is sometimes used as a type for attribution of a botanical name to a taxon. The inability of botanists to conserve certain dried specimens, or restrictions on safe transport, have meant illustrations have been nominated as the type for some names. Many minute plants, which may only be viewed under a microscope, are often identified by an illustration to overcome the difficulties in using slide mounted specimens. The standards for this are by international agreement (Art 37.5 of the Vienna Code, 2006)...

Charles III Le Moyne

Charles III Le Moyne (Longueuil, (18 October 1687 – 17 January 1755) was the second baron de Longueuil. He succeeded his father Charles le Moyne de Longueuil, Baron de Longueuil in 1729. He became Governor of Montreal, and administrator by interim of New France

Charles James Irwin Grant, 6th Baron de Longueuil

Charles James Irwin Grant, only son of Charles William Grant, 5th Baron de Longueuil and Caroline Coffin, was born in Montreal on 1 April 1815. He served in the 79th Regiment as a lieutenant for a while. He later married Henriet Colmore, from whom he fathered two sons (Alexander Frederick, died age 2 and Charles Colmore) as well as a daughter. His wife Henriet died in 1847 and he remarried in Charleston, South Carolina on 18 January 1849 to Anne Trapman, second daughter of Louis Trapman, a consul. He had many children from this union including Reginald Charles and John Charles Moore. He died on 26 February 1879 at age 63.

Charles William Grant, 5th Baron de Longueuil

Charles William Grant was born in 1782. He was the son of Captain David Alexander Grant and Marie-Charles-Joseph Le Moyne, Baronne de Longueuil. He married Caroline Coffin, daughter of General John Coffin and Anne Mathews, in 1813. He became a member of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada. He succeeded to the title of Baron de Longueuil on 17 January 1841. He died on 5 July 1848 at his residence of Alwington House in Kingston.

Hudson Bay expedition (1686)

The Hudson Bay expedition of 1686 was one of the Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay. It was the first of several expeditions sent from New France against the trading outposts of the Hudson's Bay Company in the southern reaches of Hudson Bay. Led by the Chevalier de Troyes, the expedition captured the outposts at Moose Factory, Rupert House, Fort Albany, and the company ship Craven.

Although France and England were then at peace, war broke out between them in 1689, and the conflict over the Hudson Bay outposts continued. One of Troyes' lieutenants, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, made further expeditions against HBC holdings; these culminated in the French victory at the 1697 naval Battle of Hudson's Bay. At the end of the war, the French controlled all but one of the company's outposts.

Jacques le Moyne de Sainte-Hélène

Jacques Le Moyne de Sainte-Hélène was a Canadian soldier who was born on April 16, 1659 in Montréal. He was the son of Charles Le Moyne and Catherine Thierry. He died in Quebec City in 1690.

Miles Harvey

Miles Harvey is an American journalist and author. He is best known for his 2000 book, The Island of Lost Maps, which recounted the story of a Floridian named Gilbert Bland, who stole old and precious maps from libraries across America.

Harvey graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1984 with a B.S. degree in journalism and earned an M.F.A. degree in English from the University of Michigan in 1991. He worked for United Press International, In These Times and Outside. While at Outside he wrote a 1997 story on Gilbert Bland, which was the origin for The Island of Lost Maps.

Harvey states that he has had a lifelong fascination with maps, which he partially attributes to his father's similar interest. The Island of Lost Maps doesn't just tell the story of Bland's crimes, but also relates much cartographic lore and legend and includes material on Harvey's own life and family. er publications. He lives in Chicago and received a 2004 fellowship for fiction from the Illinois Arts Council.

In 2008, Harvey published his second book, Painter in a Savage Land: The Strange Saga of the First European Artist in North America. This is a non-fiction work that chronicles Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues's adventures with the French expedition to Florida led by Jean Ribault during the sixteenth century.

Mound Builders

The various cultures collectively termed "Mound Builders" were inhabitants of North America who, during a circa 5,000-year period, constructed various styles of earthen mounds for religious, ceremonial, burial, and elite residential purposes. These included the pre-Columbian cultures of the Archaic period, Woodland period (Calusa culture Adena and Hopewell cultures), and Mississippian period; dating from roughly 3500 BCE (the construction of Watson Brake) to the 16th century CE, and living in regions of the Great Lakes, the Ohio River Valley, and the Mississippi River valley and its tributary waters.Since the 19th century, the prevailing scholarly consensus has been that the mounds were constructed by indigenous peoples of the Americas. Sixteenth-century Spanish explorers met natives living in a number of later Mississippian cities, described their cultures, and left artifacts. Research and study of these cultures and peoples has been based mostly on archaeology and anthropology.

St. Johns culture

The St. Johns culture was an archaeological culture in northeastern Florida, USA that lasted from about 500 BCE (the end of the Archaic period) until shortly after European contact in the 17th century. The St. Johns culture was present along the St. Johns River and its tributaries (including the Oklawaha River, and along the Atlantic coast of Florida from the mouth of the St. Johns River south to a point east of the head of the St. Johns River, near present-day Cocoa Beach, Florida. At the time of first European contact, the St. Johns culture area was inhabited by speakers of the Mocama (or Agua Salada), Agua Fresca and Acuera dialects of the Timucua language and by the Mayacas.


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