Golden Nude

In this exuberant, joyful painting, Fergusson depicts energetic movement, clearly inspired by watching Morris and her pupils at work. The warm yellows, ochres and pinks of the nude and the lush foliage, convey the richness of the scene and express warmth, health and vitality.

One of the fundamentals of Morris's training was her use of opposition movements in the arms and legs, demonstrated well by the basic exercises such as running and walking. In this she was very much influenced by her teacher Raymond Duncan, brother of Isadora, whose classes she attended in her teens.

The pose of Fergusson's nudes indicates his awareness of these ideas. Morris believed these methods to be of, 'extraordinary value in physical development' and subsequently they formed a fundamental part of her method, acting as warm-ups, equivalent to the 'barre' practice of the traditional ballet.

  • Material/Medium: oil paint on canvas
  • Date: n/a
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.309
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a