The Boat Lake, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

The Boat Lake, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris



John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
The Boat Lake, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

Black chalk

The Artist's partner, Margaret Morris (1891-1980)
Private Collection

Fergusson is one of the best known of the Scottish Colourists along with Peploe, Cadell and Hunter. They were active in the first half of the twentieth century and were particularly influenced by French art of that period. Their work has had a lasting influence on Scottish contemporary art.

Fergusson was born in Leith near Edinburgh and having briefly trained as a naval surgeon, he set up his own painting studio in Edinburgh despite little formal training. He first visited Paris in the mid 1890s and the city and its art had a dramatic effect on him. He studied Impressionist paintings as well as attending life classes at the Académie Colarossi. He returned to Paris almost every summer for the next ten years before making the city his permanent home from 1907. There he met his fellow artist Samuel Peploe and his lifelong partner the dancer Margaret Morris. On the outbreak of the first World War, he returned to London where he had his first solo exhibition in 1923. He was in Paris again from 1928 until 1939 when he returned to Scotland where he spent the rest of his life.

Fergusson compulsively sketched on the streets of Paris. The Luxembourg Gardens in the 6th arrondissement contained the Palais de Luxembourg and were one of his favourite haunts. The lake was, and still is, popular as a place to sail model boats.


Height 10.5 cm / 4 "
Width 18.8 cm / 7 12"