During the early 1900s, Paris was the epicentre of the art world - a melting pot for the avant-garde artists, writers and poets of the day. Enchanted by the culture and life of the city, John Duncan Fergusson relocated to Paris in 1907. He established a studio in Montparnasse and immediately immersed himself in the café society for which the city was renown.
Dividing his time between Paris and London, Fergusson was highly influenced by the French modern movements of the early 20th century. He thrived in the artistic setting of Paris, befriending acclaimed artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac.
Quoted in Elizabeth Cumming ‘s introduction to The Colourists and France, Dunoyer de Segonzac praised Fergusson’s work as using, 'stunning fresh colours allied to rich, sumptuous matiere'. He spoke of his friend as 'a great and wholly independent artist' and whose painting would stand the test of time.
Remembered as perhaps the most innovative of the Scottish Colourists, Fergusson maintained a flourishing career throughout the early 20th century. From 1907 to 1912, Fergusson was a regular exhibitor at the Salon d'Automne showing alongside Marquet, Chabaud, Friesz and Matisse.
Boulevard Montparnasse dates from Fergusson's first year in Paris and already hints at the influence of his French contemporaries. The bold palette and dynamic impasto heralds an interest in the Fauves, whilst the high tonality conveys Fergusson' s view in 'trying for truth, for reality, through light'. This vibrant view of Montparnasse is the perfect synthesis of his time in France. Fergusson conveys the new order of a bustling metropolitan life with bravura and panache.
AUCTION | Scottish Paintings | Thursday, 5th December at 6pm | Edinburgh
VIEWING | Tues - Wed 4 December 10am - 5pm | Thurs 5 December 9am - 2pm