• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Artist battled against khaki

As one of the leading members of Scottish Colourist movement, JD Fergusson could perhaps have been excused about being a little picky about what he wore in the trenches.

Now it has emerged the Edinburgh-born painter, famed for his post-impressionist work, avoided being sent to the First World War after taking his aesthetic dislike of the khaki colour of the Army uniform to military chiefs.

When the upper age limit for conscription was raised to 51 in the spring of 1918, Fergusson suddenly found himself facing being called up.

But according to research uncovered for a new BBC Scotland radio and online series, the painter took his uniform complaint to senior commanders.

And following interventions to the Admiralty by his influential friends, Fergusson, who died in 1961 aged 86, went on to become unofficial artist for the Royal Navy in Portsmouth Docks that summer.

Alice Strang, senior curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, said: "He really did everything he could to avoid being sent to France."

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

236221