This is one of the last works Fergusson ever painted. It is a very large canvas portraying two statuesque nudes set against a background of magnolia flowers. Recalling the mystical symbolism of earlier 'dryad' images, Morris said that he intended the figures to evoke the spirit of the magnolia trees in Southern France.
Archival photographs record the young French model who Fergusson called Magnolia, who provided the initial inspiration for the painting, posing in her bikini under the magnolia trees. The latter half of Fergusson's painting career was dominated by his exuberant images of bathers and nudes such as this.
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: 1959
- Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
- Accession number: 1992.3
- Category: Fine Art
- Subject: n/a