Still life offered a useful outlet for experimentation during Fergusson's Paris years as the expressive, directional brushwork of this painting suggests. In combination with bright colour it suggests Fauve influence. Elements of still life were often incorporated into more ambitious compositions containing figures.

The reappearance of the same vase and flowers in a larger and more complex arrangement the following year, indicates that Fergusson drew from a stock of favourite objects time and again but according to those who knew him his studio was remarkably tidy and uncluttered.

'There was an atmosphere of almost scientific cleanliness; a complete absence of studio stuffiness and the paraphernalia of Bohemianism; no bric-a-brac, no dusty draperies...In the midst of this austerity the paintings beconed out with the living magic of clean colour' (editor and critic, Holbrook Jackson, 1918)

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on board
  • Date: 1909
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.217
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a