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National Galleries launches search for works by Scottish Colourist S. J. Peploe
Samuel John Peploe, Boats at Royan, 1910. Oil on board, 27.00 x 34.90 cm. Bequeathed by Dr R.A. Lillie 1977. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
EDINBURGH.- The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art launched an appeal for owners of paintings by the celebrated Scottish Colourist S. J. Peploe to come forward. Following the success of its current exhibition devoted to the work of Peploe’s friend F. C. B. Cadell, the Gallery will be holding a major retrospective of Peploe’s work, opening on 3 November 2012. The exhibition curators are interested in uncovering rarely seen works by one of the most important Scottish artists of the twentieth-century.

During his lifetime, Peploe exhibited regularly in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The children and grand-children of his friends and patrons may well still own these works and the Gallery hopes to re-discover some long-since hidden masterpieces.

Samuel John Peploe (1871-1935) was the eldest of the four artists popularly known as ‘The Scottish Colourists’, the others being F. C. B. Cadell, G. L. Hunter and J. D. Fergusson. He was born in Edinburgh and lived there for most of his life, except for periods spent in France, most significantly in Paris. From around 1914 until his death, Peploe sought to paint the perfect still life. In 1929 he explained: ‘There is so much in mere objects, flowers, leaves, jugs, what not – colours, forms, relation – I can never see mystery coming to an end.’

The care which Peploe lavished on his still lifes, painted in the studio, contrasts with the more spontaneous technique with which he created his French and Scottish landscapes, painted en plein air (in the open air) from 1896. In 1920, Cadell invited him to paint with him on Iona and Peploe returned almost annually over the next thirteen years, also working in other parts of Scotland and France.

The planned retrospective follows the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s landmark exhibition of Peploe’s exhibition held in 1985. It will consist of approximately 70 paintings, from public and private collections and will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue.

Alice Strang, Senior Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art said: “It would be wonderful to bring to light beautiful paintings by this leading Scottish artist, which have not been seen in public for decades.”

If you think you can help, please contact Alice Strang on / 0131 624 6328. All information received will be treated in confidence.

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