richard green Ken Howard

Samuel John Peploe

  • Samuel John Peploe - Roses
    Samuel John Peploe Roses Signed
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 20 in
    61 x 50.8 cm
    Full details

    BM 120

     

    SAMUEL JOHN PEPLOE rsa

    1871 — Edinburgh - 1935

     

    Roses

     

    Signed lower right: Peploe

    Oil on canvas: 24 x 20 in / 61 x 50.8 cm

     

    Painted circa 1930

     

    Provenance:

    Aitken Dott & Son, Edinburgh

    John J. Cowen Esq., Edinburgh

    Richard Green, London, 1984

    Private collection, Europe

     

    Exhibited:   

    Edinburgh, The Royal Scottish Academy, The Annual Exhibition, 26th April - 30th August 1930, no. 296

    London, Richard Green, Modern British Paintings, 1985, no. 17

     

     

    “There is so much in mere objects, flowers, leaves, jugs, what not – colours, forms, relation – I can never see mystery coming to an end”, Peploe wrote in 1929.[1] Early in 1930 Peploe revisited Cassis with his wife and stayed until the start of June, before returning to his Edinburgh studio and his enduring passion for still life subject matter. Though composed around a single, central vase of roses, with only a white plate behind, the vivid palette and abstract backdrop of this dramatic work make it one of the artist’s most remarkable. The blue and white china sits on a square, grey table whose corner projects to the right of the composition, setting up a sequence of dynamic diagonals across the canvas in striking contrast to the upright flowers. The geometric shapes of brilliant green, black and lilac fabric, swiftly outlined in bold black or broken blue lines, are stacked against areas of white and pale blue above the table and in vertical panels at the top of the canvas, recalling the bright porcelain and luminous white flowers. The striped mauve and green material cropped by the top of the picture, corresponding with the vibrant leaves, was a studio prop Peploe shared with Cadell, whose Edinburgh studio was within walking distance.[2] Perhaps the most arresting elements of this accomplished composition however, are the stunning coral roses, their tight, angular petals only just unfurling and the unexpected dash of mustard yellow on the left.

     

    As well as exhibiting the present work at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1930,[3] Peploe held one-man shows at Aitken Dott & Son, Edinburgh and Alex Reid & Lefevre in London.

     

    In spring the following year he would take part in another exhibition of Les Peintres Ecossais at the Galeries Georges Petit, Paris, this time including the work of Telfer Bear and R. O. Dunlop in addition to Fergusson, Cadell and Hunter.

     

     

     

                                 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A Pink Vase of Roses, Samuel John Peploe        

    Oil on canvas: 54.6 x 49.5 cm

    The Fleming Collection

    SAMUEL JOHN PEPLOE RSA

    1871 - Edinburgh - 1935

     

    Samuel John Peploe was the eldest of the Scottish Colourists and worked in a style remarkable for its painterly freedom and richness of colour. Together with Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, George Leslie Hunter and John Duncan Fergusson, whose work was also characterised by the bold handling and use of colour, they were dubbed ‘Les Peintres de L’Ecosse Moderne’ following their first exhibition in Paris in 1924.

     

    Peploe first studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1893, and then continued his training in Paris, at both the Académie Julian under Adolphe William Bouguereau (1825-1905), and the Académie Colarossi. At this time he was considerably impressed by the work of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699-1779), Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) and Paul Cézanne (1839-1906). He also admired Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), and seventeenth-century Dutch painters, especially Frans Hals (c1582-1666), whose work he saw on a visit to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, in 1895. During this period, Peploe led a cosmopolitan life, working in Britain, and travelling extensively throughout France, in the company of his friend and colleague, Fergusson, with whom he spent several holidays painting at Etaples, Paris Plage, Dunkirk, Berneval, Dieppe and Le Tréport. In 1896, Peploe returned to Edinburgh and settled at his first studio in Shandwick Place, where the dark surroundings suited the sombre palette of his early still lifes, nudes and figure studies. He moved to Devon Place in 1900, where he developed a more sophisticated choice of subject matter, matched by an increasingly rich application of paint, and to York Place in 1905, where lighter space was reflected in the heightened tonality of his work.

     

    The work of Samuel John Peploe is represented in Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, University of Aberdeen; University of St Andrews; Rozelle House Galleries, South Ayrshire; Birmingham Museums Trust; Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford; Brighton and Hove Museums and Art Galleries; the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Pallant House Gallery, Chichester; Gracefield Arts Centre, The Stewarty Museum, Dumfries and Galloway; Lillie Art Gallery, East Dunbartonshire; Dundee Art Galleries and Museums, University of Dundee; National Museum Scotland, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council, University of Edinburgh; Kirkcaldy Galleries, Fife; the Burrell Collection, Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre; Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, University of Hull; McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Inverclyde; Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Lakeland Arts Trust, Kendal; Leeds Museums and Galleries; The Courtauld Gallery, the Fleming Collection, Tate Britain and William Morris Gallery, London; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA); Manchester City Galleries; National Trust for Scotland; Laing Art Gallery,

     

    Newcastle; Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, Renfrewshire; Perth & Kinross Council; The Atkinson, Southport; The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent and Ulster Museum, National Museums Northern Ireland.

    [1] Stanley Cursiter, Peploe An Intimate Memoir of an Artist and his Work, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., London, 1947, p. 73.

    [2] Honeyman described Peploe and Cadell’s friendship as ‘a rare thing. In appearance, manner and talk they were poles apart, but in their love of colour, sunshine and freedom of action they were on common ground.’ T.J. Honeyman, Three Scottish Colourists, London, 1950, p. 66. Honeyman continues: ‘Cadell’s studio was about the only one S.J. ever visited. They often criticised each other’s work, suggesting an improvement here and there, counselling eliminations of some passage or advising a fresh attempt.’ Ibid., p. 66.

    [3] Roses was one of three works Peploe exhibited at the RSA including, Garden – Antibes, no. 198 and Still life, no. 319. Peploe also exhibited a painting entitled Roses at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1930, no.266 (£75), along with a landscape of Iona, no. 259 and Still life, no. 268.

  • Samuel John Peploe - Still life with roses & fruit
    Samuel John Peploe Still life with roses & fruit Signed on stretcher
    Oil on canvas
    22 x 20 in
    55.9 x 50.8 cm
    Full details

    SP 5430

     

    SAMUEL JOHN PEPLOE RSA

     1871 - Edinburgh - 1935

     

    Still life with roses & fruit

     

    Signed Peploe on the reverse and again on the stretcher

    Oil on canvas: 22 x 20 in / 55.9 x 50.8 cm

    Frame size: 31 x 29 in / 78.7 x 73.7 cm

     

    A still life including a basket with vegetables on a table top is painted on the reverse.

     

    Painted circa 1922

     

    Provenance:

    Willy Peploe, the artist’s son, then by descent

     

    Exhibited:

    Glasgow, McLellan Galleries, Memorial Exhibition of Paintings by S.J. Peploe RSA, February 1937, no. 120 (catalogue untraced), lent by Mrs S.J. Peploe

     

     

    This exceptional still life with roses, from the private collection of the artist’s son, was painted in Peploe’s large, luminescent studio at 54 Shadwick Place, Edinburgh, previously occupied by the painter James Patterson (1854-1932).[1] Like his friend and fellow Scottish-Colourist J.D. Fergusson, Peploe painted the stark, bright work space white, allowing him to achieve an astonishing radiance and depth of colour in his painting. During the early 1920s, he painted almost exclusively on an absorbent gesso ground which, though technically difficult, allowed for a variety of finish, typically resulting in a dry, built-up surface with a compelling materiality. The exquisite elegance of the present work eloquently expresses the extraordinary care the artist took over his still life compositions. Writing on the occasion of Peploe’s 1985 retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the artist’s grandson writes: ‘From about 1914 until his death, Peploe sought to paint the perfect still life...He concentrated on a few simple props: Chinese vases, a black fan, a blue jug, books, the ‘Raeburn’ chair, fruit, and patterned fabrics often bought at Whytock and Reid...What seems to be repetition should be understood as a finely tuned sensibility playing subtle variations on a theme.’[2]

     

    Here Peploe achieves the ideal equilibrium between the graceful, curved silhouettes of the cropped oval mirror, the circular table and opening ellipses of blue and white china, and the multi-faceted petals of the more geometric flowers. The cool, light-toned porcelain, white napkin and walls combine with the muted grey table and its reflection in the mirror to provide the perfect foil for the luminous, lush pink, red and orange of the fruit and fresh-cut flowers.

     

    From October 1921, The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh and Alexander Reid in Glasgow agreed to jointly purchase the artist’s work and manage his career, which gave Peploe, if not a regular income, the confidence and security to purchase the flat at 13 India Street that his family had rented for a decade.[3] In January 1923, Peploe also exhibited with the Leicester Galleries in London alongside Cadell and Hunter. The following summer, the three Scotsmen were joined by Fergusson at an exhibition in the Galerie Barbazanges, Paris, titled Les Peintres de l’Ecosse Moderne.

     

     

                         

    SJ Peploe, Pink Roses                                        

    Oil on canvas: 61 x 50.8 cm

    The Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums    

     

    SAMUEL JOHN PEPLOE RSA

    1871 - Edinburgh - 1935

     

    Samuel John Peploe was the eldest of the Scottish Colourists and worked in a style remarkable for its painterly freedom and richness of colour. Together with Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, George Leslie Hunter and John Duncan Fergusson, whose work was also characterised by the bold handling and use of colour, they were dubbed ‘Les Peintres de L’Ecosse Moderne’ following their first exhibition in Paris in 1924.

     

    Peploe first studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1893, and then continued his training in Paris, at both the Académie Julian under Adolphe William Bouguereau (1825-1905), and the Académie Colarossi. At this time he was considerably impressed by the work of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699-1779), Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) and Paul Cézanne (1839-1906). He also admired Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), and seventeenth-century Dutch painters, especially Frans Hals (c1582-1666), whose work he saw on a visit to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, in 1895. During this period, Peploe led a cosmopolitan life, working in Britain, and travelling extensively throughout France, in the company of his friend and colleague, Fergusson, with whom he spent several holidays painting at Etaples, Paris Plage, Dunkirk, Berneval, Dieppe and Le Tréport. In 1896, Peploe returned to Edinburgh and settled at his first studio in Shandwick Place, where the dark surroundings suited the sombre palette of his early still lifes, nudes and figure studies. He moved to Devon Place in 1900, where he developed a more sophisticated choice of subject matter, matched by an increasingly rich application of paint, and to York Place in 1905, where lighter space was reflected in the heightened tonality of his work.

     

    The work of Samuel John Peploe is represented in Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, University of Aberdeen; University of St Andrews; Rozelle House Galleries, South Ayrshire; Birmingham Museums Trust; Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford; Brighton and Hove Museums and Art Galleries; the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Pallant House Gallery, Chichester; Gracefield Arts Centre, The Stewarty Museum, Dumfries and Galloway; Lillie Art Gallery, East Dunbartonshire; Dundee Art Galleries and Museums, University of Dundee; National Museum Scotland, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council, University of Edinburgh; Kirkcaldy Galleries, Fife; the Burrell Collection, Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre; Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, University of Hull; McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Inverclyde; Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Lakeland Arts Trust, Kendal; Leeds Museums and Galleries; The Courtauld Gallery, the Fleming Collection, Tate Britain and William Morris Gallery, London; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA); Manchester City Galleries; National Trust for Scotland; Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle; Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, Renfrewshire; Perth & Kinross Council; The Atkinson, Southport; The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent and Ulster Museum, National Museums Northern Ireland.

     

     

    [1] Peploe painted at 54 Shadwick Place from 1917 until 1934.

    [2] Guy Peploe, S J Peploe 1871-1935, exh cat, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 1985, p. 13.

    [3] Peploe purchased the tenement flat in August 1924. The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh was part of Aitken Dott & Co, the gilding and picture restoring firm. Alexander Reid’s Glasgow Gallery was La Société des Beaux-Arts. See Alice Strang, S.J. Peploe, exh cat, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2012, p. 12.

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