Roofs at Saintonge

Both the location and Fergusson's daring use of colour link this work closely to his studies of Royan of 1909 and 1910. St Genis de Saintonge is situated close to this coastal village on the west of France. Fergusson spent the summers painting there with Anne Estelle Rice (1877-1959) and SJ Peploe (1871-1935).

Even though worked on a small scale this is a bold painting using rich colours and dark outlines to mark out form and express mood. Heavy contours in dark blue and red, a trademark of Fergusson's Fauvist years define the various elements, whilst a violet sky is juxtaposed against rust-red rooftops.

A more analytical approach to composition emerges focused on the massing of form into distinct geometric areas. The deliberate lack of shading enhances the flat, decorative quality of this composition with layers of shapes quite literally stacked one on top of the other.

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on board
  • Date: 1910
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.233
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a