IMAGE number
Torse de Femme, c.1911 (oil on board)
Glasgow Museums, UK
oil on board
Half-length study of a female nude set against a decorative, abstract and brightly coloured backdrop. The model is viewed from the front, with her arms outstretched to the sides, face in three-quarter profile to right, dark hair tied back but covering her eyes. Fergusson uses unusual but complimentary colours red and green in modelling the flesh tones of the body. Signed on the back. The nude as a new dominant theme appeared in Fergusson’s work around 1910. The power of the nude as expressed here in Torse de Femme led him directly to work with the representation of the female as the personification of the spirit of life. He took some inspiration from the philosophy of Henri Bergson and his idea of a feminine principle or life force (‘élan vital’). Thus, Fergusson often linked his female nudes with the idea and symbols of natural abundance, or as in this painting, he would often highlight the strong robust curves to accentuate fertility and regenerative power. Torse de Femme is one of a group of powerful nude studies, which Fergusson submitted to the 1912 international exhibition in Cologne (Internationale Kunstausstellung des Sonderbundes). By sending these works to a major contemporary exhibition in Germany, Fergusson must have been aware of the current artistic developments in this country, which is particularly evident in the somewhat Expressionist handling of the brushwork and colour in Torse de Femme. The female nude is treated with anonymity as a heavily-outlined element of power set against a backdrop that with its bright and vibrant colours echoes the strong features of the figure.
Photo credit
Bridgeman Images
female / woman / nude / half length / bare breasts / torso / red lips / erotic / sexuality / expressionist / brushstrokes / modern / modernist / 1910s / young / beauty / desire / Painting / Mzpainting
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