Jean (The Cock Feather)

Jean Maconochie, a girlfriend of Fergusson's in Edinburgh, was the model for a number of elegant and stylish early portraits. Some are ambitious full-length versions, whilst others like this one, focus on her head and shoulders. In each her face is framed by an attractive hat, in keeping with the fashions of the day.

The painting echoes the contemporary trend for trimming hats with birds' feathers. Plumage from rare and exotic species was much sought after but discouraged after the founding of the anti-plumage lobby. Game and poultry feathers however provided more modest and acceptable alternatives.

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: 1903
  • Creator: John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961)
  • Accession number: 1992.341
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a