John Duncan Fergusson

Bank of Scotland from Princes Street Gardens (About 1900)

About this artwork

Fergusson established a studio in Edinburgh in the mid-1890s. He is likely to have painted this intimate work standing in Princes Street Gardens in the centre of the capital, looking up at the headquarters of the Bank of Scotland on The Mound, now the Scottish headquarters of Lloyds Banking Group. He converted a cigar box to hold 5 x 4 inch panels – such as this one – alongside paints and cut-down brushes, with the lid of the box doubling as his palette. This kit allowed him to record scenes spontaneously, often working outdoors. The lively, dabbed-on brushstrokes in this painting pick out details including the distinctive dome of the building and the white gown of the elegant lady in the foreground.

  • title: Bank of Scotland from Princes Street Gardens
  • accession number: GMA 4785
  • artist: John Duncan FergussonScottish (1874 - 1961)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Scottish Colourists Cities
  • materials: Oil on board
  • date created: About 1900
  • measurements: 13.70 x 11.10 cm (framed: 20.70 x 18.20 x 4.80 cm)
  • credit line: Presented by an anonymous donor, 2006
  • copyright: © The Fergusson Gallery, Perth & Kinross Council, Scotland
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

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.