John Duncan Fergusson

Portrait of Anne Estelle Rice (1908)

About this artwork

Anne Estelle Rice (1879 - 1959) was an American artist who moved to Paris in 1906. She worked as an illustrator for a Philadelphia magazine but was also a distinguished painter. Fergusson met her in the summer of 1906, before moving to Paris, and subsequently contributed illustrations to the same magazine. The two became close friends. The contrast between the bright colours and bold outlines of this painting and the Whistlerian tones of 'Dieppe, 14 July 1905: Night' (also in the Gallery's collection) shows just how much Fergusson's work had developed in three years. This was due to his contact with French avant-garde artists.

John Duncan Fergusson

John Duncan Fergusson

‘Scottish Colourist’ John Duncan Fergusson is recognised as 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 Parisian 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 S J 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.