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© The Fergusson Gallery, Perth and Kinross Council

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Dancers 1912

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
The female figure, often dancing and with erotic overtones, is a recurring theme in Fergusson’s work. These drawings were taken from one of his sketch books. They show him experimenting with an Egyptian inspired pose, with the figure both clothed and un-clothed. Fergusson met his future wife, the dancer Margaret Morris, in Paris in 1913 and together they collaborated on many dance projects. In 1917 they opened a summer school of dance in Devon, with the dancers encouraged to practice ‘en plein air’. This was the beginning of annual summer schools in both England and the South of France.

Glossary Open

En plein air

A French expression meaning ‘in the open air’. It refers to the practice of painting a complete picture outside as apposed to a creating a preparatory sketch or study. The technique was developed during the mid 1800’s by Constable in Britain, in France by the Barbizon School painters such as Courbet and Corot and later by the Impressionist painters including Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Artists using the technique sought to capture the essence of natural light. In the second half of the nineteenth century the technique spread throughout much of Europe and into America.


The state of sexual arousal or the ability to arouse sexual feelings.

Scottish Colourists

A group of Scottish painters comprising S.J. Peploe, F.C.B. Cadell, Leslie Hunter and J.D. Fergusson who were active in the early 20th century. They all spent time in France and were influenced by French artists' bold use of colour and free brushwork.

En plein air, Eroticism, Scottish Colourists


  • Acc. No. GMA 4763 A
  • Medium Black chalk on paper
  • Size 17.00 x 10.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased 2005