Mother and Child, (Sheila)

Despite the powerful religious associations often attached to images of 'Mother and Child', Fergusson's idealised vision of motherhood is very much earthly based. The subject pictured outdoors, is fused with the natural surroundings by repetition of softer, pastel colours, cultivating indirectly, an 'earth mother' image.

This painting was inspired by a personal friend and teacher of Margaret Morris's pupils, Sheila O'Shaunessy, who also attended the meetings of The New Art Club established by Fergusson and Morris in Glasgow in 1940. The setting for the picture was Glasgow Botanical Gardens, where Sheila often walked.

On his death in 1961 Fergusson left the largest collection of his works in existence to his partner, Margaret Morris (1891-1980). In 1963 she established the JD Fergusson Art Foundation, who subsequently gifted the entire collection, archive and copyright to Perth and Kinross District Council in November 1991.

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on canvas
  • Date: 1944
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.286
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a