Danu, Mother of the Gods

Fergusson began work on this ambitious late work during the 1940's basing Danu, the Celtic Mother of the Gods, on Morris, wearing a costume she had designed for a performance with her Celtic Ballet. Fergusson used a second model, Martha Arnott, for the final stages of the portrait, as Morris was too busy.

Fergusson and Morris encouraged a revival of Celtic culture on their return to Glasgow in 1939 and Morris founded the Celtic Ballet in 1940 with these interests very much evident. The couple's beliefs reflected a wider artistic and literary trend to encourage and promote a distinctly Scottish cultural tradition.

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: 1952
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.296
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a