Alice Strang with the  S.J. Peploe painting. Credit: Lyon & Turnbull/Stewart Attwood
Alice Strang with the S.J. Peploe painting. Credit: Lyon & Turnbull/Stewart Attwood

Scottish Colourist S.J. Peploe painting could fetch up to £300,000

A stand-out picture by Scottish Colourist S.J. Peploe could fetch up to £300,000 when it goes under the hammer 

The painting, Still Life with Fruit and Flowers, depicts a cast of still life objects set against a vivid purple backdrop. It is on such bold works that Peploe’s leading reputation within twentieth century art history is based.

The stunning work was created in the early 1920s, when Peploe’s relationship with fellow Colourist F.C.B. Cadell was particularly close.

After World War One, the pair lived a short walk away from each other in Edinburgh’s New Town and often worked together, offering feedback on each other’s paintings.

Their influence on one another is clear when comparing pieces from the same period.

They even shared a taste for props, such as the orange-rimmed plate and blue-glazed jug in Still Life with Fruit and Flowers.

Peploe had a painstaking working process and is known to have arranged and rearranged the objects in his paintings, sometimes for days on end.

The painting will be the showpiece of Lyon & Turnbull’s Scottish Paintings & Sculpture sale on 6 June.

Alice Strang, Senior Specialist in Modern and Contemporary Art with the Edinburgh-headquartered fine art auctioneers, described the piece as a ‘testament to modernity and friendship.’

Still Life with Fruit and Flowers. Credit: Lyon & Turnbull/Stewart Attwood

‘A century after it was painted, Still Life with Fruit and Flowers still has the power to stop a viewer in their tracks,’ he said.

‘Just imagine the impact its bold colours and technique must have had in Scotland in the early 1920s, as Peploe brought the essence of modern art to the country.

‘The time Peploe spent in Paris between 1910 and 1912 changed his work dramatically, as he submerged himself in the very latest developments in French art from Cubism to Fauvism.

‘Medically exempted from war service, Peploe used the years of conflict for development and exploration, including the close study of the work of Paul Cézanne.’

After the war, Peploe embarked upon a series of brightly coloured flower paintings for which he is best known.

Still Life with Fruit and Flowers comes from an estate left to a charitable trust and is being sold to benefit animal charities. 

Two important paintings by the Scottish Colourist George Leslie Hunter, from the same source, will benefit the same charities. 

Marigolds with the Yellow Cup (estimate £50,000-80,000) and French landscape painting Villefranche (estimate £50,000-70,000) are joined in this flagship auction by Hunter’s Still Life with Chinese Bowl (estimate £50,000-£70,000).


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