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Telephone: 0131 226 6932 or 0845 388 5879
46 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3NH, Scotland (TSOH)

Biography and current catalogue for

John Duncan Fergusson RBA (1874-1961) 

Born in Leith and educated in Edinburgh, Fergusson gave up his medical career to paint. During the 1890s he began to visit Paris where he studied at the Academy Colarossi and was influenced by the Impressionists, although his watercolour technique owed much to the work of Arthur Melville. Four paintings of his were shown at the Post-Impressionist and Futuristic Exhibition in London in 1913. His work revealed a passion for modern music and dance, in particular the Ballet Russes. In the same year he met Margaret Morris, the acclaimed dancer, who was later to become his wife.
The Great War saw Fergusson living in London and Edinburgh where he began to paint powerful Scottish landscapes, earning him a one man show in 1923, followed by exhibitions in London and Paris with S.J. Peploe and F.C.B. Cadell. He returned to Paris between the wars, and it was in 1923 that he visited Antibes, for a holiday and where this watercolour was executed. Fascinated by the immense contrast between the cool grey light of his native Scotland and the intense brightness of the Mediterranean sky, Fergusson, like the other Colourists, executed his most vivid work in this region. One of his greatest influences was his close friend, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who was the catalyst for Fergusson's increased use of watercolour during this period. The scenes from the south of France often included his wife and the sensuous treatment and their exuberant, vibrant colours underlie one of the happiest times in the artist's life.