J.D. Fergusson

Blue Beads, Paris


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J.D. Fergusson 1874–1961
Oil paint on board
Support: 502 × 457 mm
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1964

Display caption

This painting is one of many studies Fergusson made of a type of European female beauty, seen as modern at the time. The sitter is not known and the work’s title draws attention to its decorative intention. This is enhanced by the heavy, rhythmic outline and expressive, bold colour. Fergusson was one of the most significant Scottish artists of the early 20th century. He was a leading figure among the ‘Scottish Colourists’ who adopted the bright colours and simplified outlines of modern French painting. Fergusson visited Paris frequently and lived there from 1907 to 1914.

Gallery label, October 2020

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Catalogue entry

John Duncan Fergusson 1874–1961

T00667 Blue Beads, Paris 1910

Inscr. on back, ‘Paris 1910 J. D. Fergusson’.
Oil on board, 19¾ x 18 (50.5 x 46).
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1964.
Coll: The artist’s widow, Mrs. Margaret Fergusson; purchased by the Friends of the Tate Gallery through the Leicester Galleries 1964.
Exh: Doré Gallery, January 1914 (18); Arts Council Scottish Committee, Memorial Exhibition, R.S.A., November-December 1961 and tour 1962 (57, repr. pi. 9); 20th Century Scottish Painting, Abbott Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, August–September 1963 and Arts Council tour (5); Leicester Galleries, May-June 1964 (62). Repr: The Times, 15 May 1964.

The artist’s widow wrote (25 July 1964): ‘I cannot remember seeing that picture since 1914—& 1960! when it came back from Paris with some others, and all studio furniture stored there since 1939! ... I have no idea who the sitter was, I should say a girl he saw in a café & sketched, he did many paintings just from sketches.’

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1964–1965, London 1966.


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