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Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, ca. 1533–before 1588, French, active in England from ca.1580.
Formerly attributed to John White, active 1585–1593, British

A Young Daughter of the Picts

ca. 1585
Watercolor and gouache, touched with gold on parchment
Sheet: 10 1/4 × 7 3/8 inches (26 × 18.7 cm) and Frame: 20 3/8 × 15 3/8 × 1 inches (51.8 × 39.1 × 2.5 cm)

Inscribed on verso in graphite, lower right: "Georg Hüfnagel | 9822 | UBZZ"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
botany | ethnology | figure study | flowers (plants) | lance | miniature painting | root | science | settlement | spear | sword | tattoos | women
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This colorful miniature apparently served as the model for an engraving for plate III of the section on Picts and ancient Britons in Theodor de Bry’s publication of Thomas Hariot's “Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia”, published in 1590. Originally attributed to the artist John White, whose drawings from the Virginia expedition were also featured in the de Bry volume, “Young Daughter” was not reattributed to Le Moyne until after its acquisition by Paul Mellon in 1967. The Pictish illustrations were intended to remind readers that early natives of the British Isles existed in a savage state similar to natives in the Americas. “Young Daughter” was the second miniature attributed to Le Moyne from his drawings of early indigenous peoples, most of which are now known only through engravings. The first miniature identified as his work, and the only one from Le Moyne's drawings of Timucuan Indians, is “Laudonnière and King Athore”, which was featured in part 2 of de Bry's “America” and is in the James Hazen Hyde collection of the New York Public Library. The drawing is a harmonious embodiment of Le Moyne’s two known subject areas, ethnological drawings and botanicals. The colorfully ornamented body of the young woman, with her high waist, full thighs, and long hair rippling in waves to her hips, evokes his drawings of the Timucuan women, who also tattooed their bodies through a process Le Moyne describes in his Florida observations. Her botanical tattoos, such as the cornflowers on her waist and wrists, and the heartsease on her waist, calves, and hips, also bear comparison with Le Moyne’s existing botanical illustrations. In addition, Le Moyne decorates her with species newly introduced to Western Europe, thus signaling his botanical sensibilities and knowledge, though rendering her slightly anachronistic.

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British Art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 240, no. 1, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Martina Droth, Britain in the world: Highlights from the Yale Center for British Art in honor of Amy Meyers, Yale University Press, New Haven, London, p. 17, N6761 .Y33 2019 (LC) (YCBA)

Mark Evans, Renaissance Watercolours, V&A Publishing, London, p. 224, fig. 178, ND1925 .E93 2020 (YCBA)

Elisabeth Fairman, Wilde Americk : Discovery and Exploration of the New World, , New Haven, 2001, pp. 9, 13, No. 31, V 0857 (YCBA)

Thomas Hariot, A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia, University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, 2007, pp. 174-75, pl. III, F229 .H2713 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Theresa M. Kelley, Clandestine marriage, botany and Romantic culture , Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD., 2012, pp. 90-92, fig. 12, PN56.B73 K45 2012 (YCBA)

Jason David LaFountain, The Puritan art world [ PhD Dissertation - Harvard University - May 2013 ], Cambridge, MA, 2013, pp. 142, 387, fig. 154, N6916 .L35 2013A OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Amy Meyers, Modesty and Munificence, Apollo, v. 165, no. 542, April 2007, p. 28-29, fig. 2, N1 A54 + (YCBA)

Kim Sloan, European visions, American voices , no. 172, British Museum Publications, London, 2008, pp. 90,92,108, fig. 10, NJ18 W578 E9 2008 + (YCBA)

Giles Waterfield, Mr Mellon, RA : the magazine for the Friends of the Royal Academy, No. 96, Autumn 2007, pp. 70, 71, V 1905 (YCBA) Detached from RA, no.96 (2007:Autumn)

Mahonri Sharp Young, The Mellon Drawings at the Morgan, Apollo, vo. 95, no. 122, April, 1972, pp. 330-31, fig. 1, N1 A54 + (YCBA) Another copy available in Vertical File - V 2330

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