Lot 25
  • 25

JOHN DUNCAN FERGUSSON, R.B.A. | Paris Plage, 1904

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • John Duncan Fergusson, R.B.A.
  • Paris Plage, 1904
  • signed and titled on the reverse; J.D. Fergusson/ Paris Plage/ 1904
  • oil on panel
  • 19 by 24cm., 7½ by 9½in.


Anthony d'Offay, London, where purchased on 7 December 1966 by Robert Alexander ‘Bobby’ Bevan, and thence to his widow, Boxted House, Colchester, Essex by whom sold, Christie’s, Scotland, 1 November 2001, lot 98;
Private Collection


London, Anthony d'Offay Fine Art, The Influence of Whistler on English Painting, 1966, no.5A

Catalogue Note

‘Working en plein air in the manner of the French Impressionists, their palettes [Fergusson and Peploe] became paler and fresher and their brushwork more fluent in handling. They developed the facility to convey the essence of their subject matter with breath-taking simplicity using thick, creamy paint, applied with seemingly effortless skill.’ (Kirsten Simister, Living Paint, J.D. Fergusson 1874-1961, 2001, p.23) Fergusson painted on the beach at Paris-Plage with his friend Samuel John Peploe several times during the first decade of the twentieth century. They often painted side-by-side on small panels in a free and energetic style of the same view. Their style at this time was very similar and it is often difficult to decipher the work of each artist. They made their first French sketching trip together in 1904, when Fergusson painted this beautifully fluid and spontaneous panel depicting elegant ladies gathered outside the bathing huts that lined the beach. Bathing-huts particularly appealed to Fergusson and appear in many of the earliest sketches he made in Paris-Plage, such as Paris-Plage, Bathing Huts of 1903 (sold in these rooms, 12 June 2018, lot 101 from the Harrison Collection) painted in the year before Peploe first accompanied Fergusson. The two artists were greatly inspired by the beach at Paris-Plage and made subsequent visits together in 1905 and 1907 when Fergusson painted bathing-huts again in Grey Day, Paris-Plage (Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow). Fergusson's quickly executed oils of this period contain wonderfully free paint application, investing the works with an intense and lively spirit.

This picture was bought in 1966 by Bobby Bevan, son of the early British Modernist artist Robert Polhill Bevan. In 1952, when his mother died, Bobby inherited significant pictures from the large collection of family paintings, as well as other works by his parents’ friends in the Camden Town Group and by Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.