John Duncan Fergusson 1874 - 1961


Margaret Morris Fergusson
Thence by descent


This painting was almost certainly executed during the same sketching trip in 1922 that Fergusson painted Craig Coinach (sold through Sothebys in September 2001 for £ 78,300.00). Fergusson's toured the Scottish Highlands for two weeks in 1922. travelling with his friend, the journalist and writer, John Ressich. They journeyed in Ressich's car and throughout the trip Fergusson made many sketches and watercolours.
Fergusson's art is steeped in the modern use of colour. Here he captures the essence of the Scottish Highlands. The strong colour and bold use of broken planes captures the open vistas for which Scotland is so famous. Fergusson was particularly interested in pure landscape, free from figures or man-made structures. Here the raw beauty of nature is presented in a style clearly derived from the work of Cezanne, in which colour and form are paramount.

Fergusson's time in France undoubtedly would have had some influence on his work, but the choice of colour in the present painting is unmistakably Scottish. Of all the Colourist's, Fergusson spent the most time in France, virtually living there from 1907 until 1914. He mixed freely with other contemporary French artists and was at the heart of all the new advances in art in the early years of the twentieth century. Peploe arived in Paris in 1912 and Fergusson vividly describes their life there. "I find today that most painters don't understand what happened in Paris before 1914 - though hundreds of books have been written about it. This was why I was so glad when, after a few years, Peploe came to live in Paris with Margaret, his charming sympathetic wife. By this time I was settled in the movement. I had become a Societaire of the Salon d'Automne and felt more at home. Peploe and I went everywhere together. I took him to see Picasso and he was very much impressed. We went to the Salon D'Automne where we met Bourdelle, Friesz, Pascin and others." (J.D. Fergusson, Memoirs of Peploe, Scottish Art Review, 1862, vol 8, no.3).