As the title of this work suggests the real challenge of this small portrait executed at night, lay in capturing the effect of artificial light on the sitter's appearance. Fergusson's interests echoed the work of Whistler (1834-1903) who painted a series of famous views of the River Thames at night.

Described with great economy of means using broad, simplified brushwork Fergusson clearly relishes the creamy texture of the paint itself. The underlying sensuality of his approach became one of the distinctive trademarks of his most successful works.

On his death in 1961 Fergusson left the largest collection of his works in existence to his partner, Margaret Morris (1891-1980). In 1963 she established the JD Fergusson Art Foundation, who subsequently gifted the entire collection, archive and copyright to Perth and Kinross District Council in November 1991.

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on panel
  • Date: 1902
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.128
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a