The sitter in this portrait is Margaret Morris, whom Fergusson first met in 1913 who later became his wife. Bohemian by nature, she led a colourful life devoted to dance and theatre and is noted for founding the Margaret Morris Movement. In 1915 she set up a club in Chelsea to replicate Parisian café culture. It attracted an amazingly varied collection of painters, writers and musicians including Augustus John, Jacob Epstein, Wyndham Lewis, Katherine Mansfield and Ezra Pound.
In her biography, The Art of J. D. Fergusson, Morris writes how she and Fergusson often visited France and spent summers in its coastal regions. The backdrop of the present painting is the southern town of Antibes. On a clear warm day, Morris wears a hat indicative of her flamboyant style. Fergusson paints her sensitively and heightens her modelled features. The warm, tonal palette and expressive brushwork combine effectively to evoke Morris' graceful but spirited nature.
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