John Duncan Fergusson Dieppe, 14 July 1905: Night 1905 © The Fergusson Gallery, Perth & Kinross Council. Bridgeman Images 2021


Born 1874
Died 1961
Nationality Scottish
Birth place Leith, Edinburgh
Death place Glasgow

'Scottish Colourist' John Duncan Fergusson was one of the most influential Scottish painters of the 20th century. Mostly self-taught, he moved to Paris in 1907, where he became a member of the city art circles to which artists such as Matisse and Picasso also belonged. The outbreak of the First World War forced him to return to Britain, and by 1918 he was an established member of the art scene in Chelsea, London. In 1929 he went back to Paris for a further eleven years before moving to Glasgow, where he lived until his death. Like his friend Samuel John Peploe, Fergusson’s early work was influenced by that of Whistler and the Glasgow Boys, but in France he came across Fauvism and adopted a similar style, using pure, bright colours and bold, rhythmic contours.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms

Scottish Colourists

A group of Scottish painters comprising Samuel John Peploe, Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, George Leslie Hunter and John Duncan Fergusson, who were active in the early twentieth century. They all spent time in France and were influenced by French artists’ bold use of colour and free brushwork.