113
113
John Duncan Fergusson
THE ALHAMBRA, LEICESTER SQUARE, EVENING
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 32,450 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
113
John Duncan Fergusson
THE ALHAMBRA, LEICESTER SQUARE, EVENING
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 32,450 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Scottish Sale

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London

John Duncan Fergusson
1874-1961
THE ALHAMBRA, LEICESTER SQUARE, EVENING
inscribed on a label attached to the backboard: The Alhambra, Leicester Square/ Evening.
oil on panel
24 by 18.5 cm.; 9½ by 7½ in.
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Provenance

Mrs. Margaret Morris Fergusson, Glasgow

Exhibited

London, Baillie Gallery, Some Modern Painters, October 1908, no.35;
The Arts Council of Great Britain (Scottish Committee), J.D. Fergusson Memorial Exhibition, 1961-1962, no.15

Catalogue Note

First exhibited at John Baillie's gallery in London in 1908, The Alhambra probably dates from that year or the previous when Fergusson was living in Paris but made sporadic visits to London. Fergusson had always been fascinated by music halls, their performers and audiences and when he was a young man his parents had been worried about rumours that he had been seen at Edinburgh Music Hall, reputedly the haunt of women of loose morals and alcoholics. 'They need not have worried for Fergus never did anything that could interfere with his progress as a painter... Fergus always said the Music Hall gave him his first serious training in art and life and he did innumerable sketches of all the stars of the day... Besides the performers, the audience provided interesting material to sketch. The women who strolled around in the intervals were all of easy virtue and beautifully made-up. They wore exaggerated fashions in vivid colours, with huge hats gay with ribbons and flowers.'  (Margaret Morris, The Art of J.D. Fergusson, A Biased Biography, 1974, pp.30-31) The present picture is similar to the street scenes painted by Fergusson in Paris with rich Impressionistic impasto capturing the glimmering lights of early evening and the joie de vie of one of the most lively cities in the world. A couple dressed in evening-wear approach the front entrance to the Alhambra Theatre through the gardens of Leicester Square.

The Alhambra music hall stood on the east side of Leicester Square until 1936 when it was demolished and replaced by the Odeon cinema. In its heyday it was one of the busiest and most beautiful theatres in the west-end, built in a pseudo-Moroccan style in the 1880s.

The Scottish Sale

|
London