A Back Street in Royan

Fergusson spent the summers of 1909 and 1910 painting in Royan, a town on the west coast of France. He went there with the painters Anne Estelle Rice (1877-1959) and SJ Peploe (1871-1935).

Fergusson's use of colour here reflects the impact of the Fauves. Most often he tended towards a more muted version of the work of Matisse and Derain but here natural appearances are altered quite radically in order to convey mood and atmosphere.

The use of colour to express the artist's emotional response to subject matter is crucial to an understanding of the Fauves' work. It was initially their unnaturalistic, bright colours which earned them the name 'The Fauves' (wild beasts) following the 1905 Salon d'Automne.

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on board
  • Date: 1910
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.219
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a