Samuel John Peploe, R.S.A. (1871-1935)
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Samuel John Peploe, R.S.A. (1871-1935)


Samuel John Peploe, R.S.A. (1871-1935)
signed 'Peploe' (lower right)
oil on canvas
18 x 16 in. (45.8 x 40.5 cm.)
Painted circa 1922.
with Aitken Dott, Edinburgh.
J.W. Blyth, and by descent to the previous owner.
S. Cursiter, Peploe An intimate memoir of an artist and of his work, Edinburgh, 1947, pl. XIV.
London, Duncan Miller, S.J. Peploe Exhibition Paintings and Drawings, November - December 1993, no. 38 (ex-catalogue).
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Lot Essay

In the 1920s Peploe concentrated on two very different approaches to his work; the freedom and expression seen in his landscapes of Iona and Cassis and the carefully constructed studio still lifes. Both were executed with assurity and competence reflecting the maturity of the artist.

Peploe favoured certain compositional devices which included sumptuous roses, different coloured drapes, a variety of blue-and-white pots and vases, and as seen in the present work, the disposition of an oval mirror against a white backdrop, invariably cut off by the top of the picture plane, its reflection adding to the composition.

In the introduction to Peploe's memorial exhibition catalogue, held in 1937 at the McLellan Galleries, E.A. Taylor, a fellow artist and friend, wrote, 'Even be Peploe's motif a single rose, he gave to it by his significant design and colour a more enduring bloom than any yet produced by the superficial formula of academic cosmetics'.

John Waldegrave Blyth (1873-1962) was born into a family of linen manufacturers from Kirkcaldy. Blyth worked as a travelling salesman in the family firm, giving him the opportunity to visit galleries in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London. He married in 1909 and commissioned the building of Wilby House in Kirkcaldy for which he began to collect his first pictures.

Like the collectors and entrepreneur Mr Wemyss Honeyman and Major Ion Harrison, J.W. Blyth focussed upon collecting contemporary Scottish pictures. He was friends with the leading Scottish art dealers of the time, Alexander Reid at the Société des Beaux Arts in Glasgow and P. McOmish Dott and George Proudfoot at Aitken Dott in Edinburgh. In 1925 Blyth became the first convenor of Kirkcaldy Art Gallery. He held this position for the rest of his life, and many of his pictures were loaned to the Gallery. After his death in 1962, 116 pictures from the collection were left to Kirkcaldy Art Gallery which became the basis for its collection, amongst the most famous being Peploe's Blue and White Teapot, Flowers and Fruit (Japanese Background) and Still Life (Fruit and Bottle).

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