John Duncan Fergusson

Artist: Fergusson, John Duncan

John Duncan Fergusson
John Duncan Fergusson

Movement(s): –

John Duncan Fergusson (1874 – 1961) was a Scottish artist and sculptor, regarded as one of the major artists of the Scottish Colourists school of painting.

Fergusson was born in Leith, Edinburgh. He was the first of 4 children. Although he briefly trained as a naval surgeon, Fergusson soon realised that his vocation was painting and he enrolled at the Trustees Academy, an Edinburgh-based art school. He rapidly became disenchanted with the rigid teaching style, however, and elected to teach himself to paint. To this end, he began to travel to Morocco, Spain and France, where he became acquainted with other artists of the day. Amongst them was Samuel Peploe, another of the group of artists who would later become identified as the Scottish Colourists.

In 1898, Fergusson took his first trip to Paris to study at the Louvre. He was highly influenced by the impressionist paintings at the Salle Caillebotte and these were an important influence on his developing style. Later he would also be influenced by Fauvism and the fauvist principles of using colour would become a strong feature of his art.

Fergusson became part of the enormous growth in artistic talent that Paris was home to at the beginning of the twentieth century. There he mingled with artists like Matisse and Picasso in the café society for which the city was renowned. In addition, he and his friend Samuel Peploe regularly painted together at Paris Plage (Le Touquet) and other places along the coast between 1904–9. It was at this period too that he commenced his relationship with the American illustrator Anne Estelle Rice (1879–1959), whom he encouraged to take up painting. She had been sent to Paris to provide drawings for articles on theatre, ballet, opera and race meetings published in the North American magazine and was to figure in many of Fergusson’s canvases.

Click here to read Fergusson’s full bio on Wikipedia.

John Duncan Fergusson painted mostly in the South of France, but he did paint in a few places in Normandy (a link “” to his art will be displayed when published):

  • Brittany
  • Hauts-de-France
    • Etaples
    • Le Touquet
  • Normandy
  • Nouvelle-Aquitaine
    • Royan
  • Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur
    • Antibes
    • Cap d’Antibes
    • Cassis
    • Golfe-Juan
    • Juan-les-Pins

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