Henry Ferguson c.1655-1730

Henry Ferguson, or Vergazoon, was most probably the son of William Gouw Ferguson. The first reference to Henry is in 1706: ‘Henry Vergazoon, was a Dutch painter of Landskip and Ruins, but chiefly the latter, which he performed exceedingly neatly’.


Until very recently the lives of William and Henry were merged into one and as a consequence the attribution of pictures had almost all been given to William. In the last 15 years a number of Henry’s pictures have been identified and reattributed. For the most, they reside in the major collections of English country houses such as Althorp, Northamptonshire and Belton House, Lincolnshire. Two comparable landscapes by Henry are in Ham House in Richmond and first listed in an inventory dated 1677 - pleasingly they are still in situ in the Duchess’ Private Closet. They were commissioned by Elizabeth, Countess of Dysart and her second husband, John Maitland, Earl of Lauderdale.


Their patronage was part of their general dependence on Netherlandish artists active in Britain at the time. Similarly, the Marquess of Tweeddale will have also followed this fashion and consequently Ferguson's work came to hang at Yester House in East Lothian.