Rocks and a Bay

Landscape was the favoured subject matter of the Fauves. Fergusson's moody lilac seascape with its still, flat water conveys an ominous, brooding atmosphere. The strangeness is heightened by the sinuous, other-worldly shapes of the rock formations in the foreground.

The stylised rocks resemble the 'eagle-top' mountain painted on numerous occasions by Othon Friesz (1879-1949) who along with the painter George Braque (1882-1963) visited La Ciotat in 1906-7.

Fergusson's friendship with Friesz, who had a studio nearby in the rue Notre Dame des Champs, was the closest he enjoyed with a true Fauve artist. He was not the most radical of the Fauves but the exuberant colour and sketchy finish of his paintings at La Ciotat marked the climax of his Fauvist years.

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on board
  • Date: 1910 (circa)
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.235
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a