Jeu de Lumiere (Portrait of Eileen)

Eileen Cunningham was one of the first members of the New Art Club set up by Morris and Fergusson in 1940. She was a writer and journalist, contributing Arts features, particularly on literature and theatre. During the 1940's she worked for the Guardian and in 1953 became a Fleet Street journalist.

Fergusson painted a number of female portraits wreathed by flowers in his later years. In them there is a degree of consistency with earlier works in which he frequently painted portraits of women in extravagant floral hats, exploiting the decorative potential of the fashions of the day.

In the earlier examples Fergusson used the flowers to emphasise his view of the essentials of the sitter's character. In later works by comparison he seems to hint at a deeper or more symbollic tie between the linking themes of woman, nature and re-birth.

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on board
  • Date: 1941
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.283
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a