Packet of Matches and Match Box

Still-life study of objects placed on a polished surface painted in sombre colours with a stress on tonal values. Shows the influence of Dutch seventeenth century painting, as well as the French Impressionist, Edouard Manet (1832-1883), whose works he saw at first hand in Paris in the late 1890s.

There is also much to link Fergusson's early practices with the work of The Glasgow Boys. He particularly wanted to ally his methods with the broad, simplified handling characteristic of their work. This challenged the degree of finish demanded by the Academies and art institutions of the day.

Even in this study of the most humble and everyday of subjects, the sensuality of Fergusson's underlying approach is apparent. The thick, creamy texture of paint that he preferred, is very much in evidence. He focused almost exclusively on the use of oil paint from the early 1900s onwards.

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on board
  • Date: 1898 (circa)
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.125
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a