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On the Cap



John Duncan Fergusson


09 Mar 1874 – 30 Jan 1961

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on canvas
    76.3 x 66.0 cm stretcher; 100.5 x 90.3 x 3.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed verso canvas, grey paint "J D Fergusson". Not dated.

    Purchased 1956
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © The Fergusson Gallery, Perth and Kinross Council, Scotland

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    John Duncan Fergusson

    Works in the collection


  • About

    John Duncan Fergusson was a leading ‘Scottish colourist’, along with Samuel Peploe. Self-taught, and at the vanguard of British artists who absorbed new developments in French painting, Fergusson transformed his style while living in Paris in the early 20th century. The French Fauvist artists, including Henri Matisse, were particularly influential on Fergusson. He became increasingly experimental, adopting simplified outlines and pulsating brushwork to accentuate the bold colours in his painting.

    'On the Cap' was painted after a trip to the French Rivera, a place of pleasure and pilgrimage for artists and tourists by the early 1920s. Evoking the glamour of the resort towns and the sparkling heat of the Mediterranean summer, Fergusson paints a vibrant landscape cradling the streamlined forms of the women. The picnicking pair sit frozen before the expansive view like a snapshot told through shimmering colour.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 5 publications

  • Provenance

    Alex Reid & Lefevre, Ltd., 1928, London/England

    Sir Eugene Goossens, pre 1956, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, 1946 to 1957 Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Director of the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music.

    Lawson's, 1956, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, Purchased by the AGNSW from Lawson's Auctions 1956