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John Duncan Fergusson - British Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - John Duncan Fergusson (1874 - 1961)

John Duncan Fergusson, Scottish painter and occasional sculpture, was the leading figure of the Scottish Colourists. He mostly painted landscapes and figures, initially in the style of Whistler. Beginning in 1895, Fergusson made frequent trips to Paris, eventually moving there from 1907 to 1914. Early during his period in France, his work was influenced by Manet, but by 1907, he adopted Fauvism. Fergusson returned to Britain in 1914 because of the war, living in London until 1929. He then returned to Paris until 1940. From 1940 to his death, Fergusson lived in Glascow where he founded the New Art Club. He was also the editor of the journal, Scottish Art and Letters and wrote a book, Modern Scottish Painting. At the beginning of the twentieth century Paris was seeing an explosion of artistic talent and Fergusson was very much a part of this. In the café society of Paris, Fergusson rubbed shoulders with artists such as Matisse and Picasso. By the outbreak of World War I, Fergusson was considered to be at the forefront of modern British painting. During the war years, however, he achieved little artistically and it was only towards the end of the war that he regained the momentum in his work. In the 1920s Fergusson was settled in a studio in London. His first solo exhibition was in 1923 and he was also involved in several important group exhibitions. In 1928 he and his partner, the dancer Margaret Morris, moved to Paris where they lived until the spectre of war once again loomed over Europe, prompting the couple to move to Glasgow in 1939 where they were to remain for the rest of their lives.

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