Loading in Royan Harbour

Fergusson spent the summer of 1910 in Royan, a town on the west coast of France. The change of surroundings seems to have inspired a distinctive and more daring use of colour through which to convey mood. This harbour scene is painted in a lighter, brighter palette also indicating ongoing Fauve influence.

The juxtapostition of the complementary colours, blue and orange, are the real subject of this painting. Shapes are described in confident, liberal brushstrokes to create a satisfying visual arrangement. The painting shows the artist's tangible enjoyment of the sensual qualities of the medium.

The painters SJ Peploe (1871-1935) and Anne Estelle Rice (1877-1959) travelled to Royan with Fergusson and found similar inspiration in the harbour there. They often chose to work in the early evening rather than at the hottest time of the day.

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on board
  • Date: 1910
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.133
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a