About this artwork

Ferguson became well known for his still life paintings. As well as this example, the Scottish National Gallery holds three others (NG 1029, NG 2096, and NG 970), but all of these show scenes of dead game birds. This painting of living butterflies and a moth is therefore uncommon as Ferguson presents creatures that are alive and in a naturalistic setting. No other painting by him of this type has been traced making it a unique example of his work. The butterflies have been identified as a Small Heath, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Small White, and a Painted Lady. The single moth is a Large Yellow Underwing.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    William Gouw FergusonScottish (1632 / 33 - after 1695)
  • title:
    Six Butterflies and a Moth on a Rose Branch
  • date created:
    About 1690
  • materials:
    Oil on panel
  • measurements:
    20.50 x 26.00 cm (framed 40.00 x 46.00cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased with a contribution from the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland, 2013
  • accession number:
    NG 2867
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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William Gouw Ferguson

William Gouw Ferguson

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