John Duncan Fergusson (1874 – 1961)

Born in Leith, John Duncan Fergusson was one of the major artists of the Scottish Colourists school of painting, alongside Francis Cadell, Leslie Hunter and Samuel Peploe. Their Post-impressionist work has come to have a formative influence on contemporary Scottish art and culture. The art historian Duncan MacMillan has said of the group they were “four of the most gifted painters of their generation in Britain”.

Fergusson began his career at the Trustees Academy in Edinburgh, where he became rapidly disenchanted with the teaching styles. His work was increasingly influenced by the styles he encountered during his travels to Morocco, Spain and France. Time spent in France introduced the artist to the Impressionism and Fauvism, including the work of Gustave Caillebotte. During the First World War Fergusson began to focus on sculpture, working with a multitude of materials including stone and wood as well as casting in bronze.

Read our Collections Assistant’s most recent blog on Fergusson at this link.