Born in 1891 of Welsh-Irish parents, Margaret Morris was only a few weeks old when the family moved to France. A child prodigy, she danced at society concerts and in court drawing rooms where she was spotted by Sarah Bernhardt who offered to train her in Paris. Morris resented the formality of classical ballet training and from the age of twelve began to develop her own system of exercises based on the Greek positions depicted on ancient artifacts. In 1910 she founded the Margaret Morris Movement School, and soon established bases in London, Paris, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
It was during a company visit to Paris in 1913 that she met her future husband, John Duncan Fergusson. Together they made regular visits to the Cap d'Antibes in the south of France over the years. Initially they stayed in a tiny house behind a villa named 'La Farandole', then from 1923-39 they returned each year for Margaret's Summer Dance Schools, staying at the 'Château des Enfants', home of their great friend George Davison. Morris recalled, 'Classes were in the château grounds ... everyone bathed off the rocks and afterwards sun-bathed in the woods or on the rocks. When they got too hot, they dived into the sea again. Fergus got much inspiration, and did hundreds of sketches over the years, from which he painted many pictures' (see M. Morris, The Art of J.D. Fergusson, Glasgow, 1973, p. 150).