Artist biography

Scottish painter. He studied at the Royal Scottish Academy schools from 1893 to 1894, and then at the Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi. The influence of the rustic realism of French painters and of the Glasgow Boys is clear in landscape drawings and paintings executed in Edinburgh from the mid 1890s. His still-life studies reveal the influence of the work of both Manet and Hals, which he saw in European galleries, with their combinations of thick impasto and fluid brushwork, dark background, strong lighting and meticulous handling of tones. Between 1900 and c. 1910, when he moved to Paris, he painted in Edinburgh, on sketching holidays in Scotland and in northern France.

Aspects of townscape and landscape, including city life in Paris and boats at Royan, dominated his work. Still-life dominated much of the academic side of Peploe's painting at this date, involving various combinations of vases, fans, chairs, fabric, books, flowers and fruit.

After his return to Scotland Peploe painted a number of townscapes and landscapes in which he adopted the structured approach of his still-lifes. In 1920 he paid the first of many regular summer visits to Iona, which inspired a series of intensely coloured studies of sea and landscape over the next 13 years. In 1950 the director of the Glasgow Art Gallery, T. J. Honeyman, grouped Peploe, George Leslie Hunter (1877–1931) and F. C. B. Cadell (1883–1937) in a study called Three Scottish Colourists (see Scottish colourists).

Bibliography
S. Cursiter: Peploe: An Intimate Memoir of an Artist and his Work (London, 1947)
S. J. Peploe, 1871–1935 (exh. cat., intro. G. Peploe; Edinburgh, N.G. Mod. A., 1985)

ELIZABETH CUMMING

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