Carrefour de L'Observatoire

This picture is closely related to the oil painting, 'Closerie des Lilas' (1992.211) sharing the same setting but viewed at a different time of the day. Here, artificial light illuminates the night scene, casting dramatic blue shadows across the foreground.

The social ambience provided by the cafes and bars was also essential to Fergusson's artistsic development. In them, he was able to meet with artists of all kinds, who gathered there to share their ideas on the latest artistic trends and theories. For Fergusson the atmosphere was liberating and suited to his needs.

Fergusson later recalled, 'Something new had started and I was very much intrigued. But there was no language for it that made sense in Edinburgh or London- an expression like "the logic of line" meant something in Paris that it couldn't mean in Edinburgh'

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on board
  • Date: 1910
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.221
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a