Samuel John Peploe, R.S.A. (1871-1935)
PROPERTY FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF MAJOR ION HARRISON
Samuel John Peploe, R.S.A. (1871-1935)

Dish with apples, ginger jar, brown crock, bottle, and chair

Details
Samuel John Peploe, R.S.A. (1871-1935)
Dish with apples, ginger jar, brown crock, bottle, and chair
signed 'Peploe' (lower left)
oil on canvas
25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted circa 1918.
Provenance
Sir William Burrell, Bt.
Major Ion Harrison, and by descent.
Literature
Exhibition catalogue, Pictures from a Private Collection, Glasgow, McLellan Galleries, The Thistle Foundation, 1951, p. 9, no. 8.
Exhibition catalogue, S.J. Peploe, Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 1985, no. 75, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Two Scottish Colourists: Samuel John Peploe, R.S.A. and Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, London, Lefevre Gallery, 1988, p. 26, no. 9, illustrated.
G. Peploe, S.J. Peploe 1871-1935, Edinburgh, 2000, pp. 130, 174, no. 74, illustrated, as 'Dish with Apples'.
G. Peploe, S.J. Peploe, Surrey, 2012, pp. 108, 113, pl. 125, as 'Dish with apples'.
Exhibition Catalogue, S.J. Peploe, Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 2012, no. 66, illustrated in colour, as 'Dish with Apples (The Ginger Jar)'.
Exhibited
Glasgow, McLellan Galleries, Memorial Exhibition of Paintings by S.J. Peploe, R.S.A., February 1937, no. 39, as 'Still Life'.
Glasgow, McLellan Galleries, The Thistle Foundation, Pictures from a Private Collection, March 1951, no. 8.
Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, S.J. Peploe, 1871-1935, June - September 1985, no. 75.
London, Lefevre Gallery, Two Scottish Colourists: Samuel John Peploe, R.S.A. and Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, November - December 1988, no. 9.
Aberdeen, Art Gallery and Museums, The Colour of Light, June - August 1996, no. 75.
Aberdeen, Art Gallery and Museums, on loan 1996-2000.
Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, S.J. Peploe, November 2012 - June 2013, no. 66, as 'Dish with Apples (The Ginger Jar)'.
Sale room notice
Please note this lot has additional exhibition information.

Venice, XIVBiennale, 1924, as 'Study Volume Depth'.

Brought to you by

Anne Haasjes
Anne Haasjes

Lot Essay

Dish with apples, ginger jar, brown crock, bottle and chair (The Ginger Jar) was painted in arguably Peploe’s most accomplished period of his career, when the influence of Cézanne was particularly apparent in his work. The artist’s meticulous preparation, boldness and use of block colour, is particularly notable in the present work – a tour-de-force of still-life painting which exemplifies Peploe at his very best. ‘Paul Cézanne’s investigation of the underlying structure of the visual world in terms of its geometry while at the same time trying to reveal its truth and charm chimed well with Peploe ... both men were inspired by an infinity of relationships in nature all worthy of close examination’ (see G. Peploe, S.J. Peploe, 1871 - 1935, pp. 53-54). Guy Peploe highlights this influence on Peploe’s output at this time, which is seen most clearly in the present work: ‘the solidly modelled fruit and ornaments, whose simple ingredients described in plain light might have been drawn from Cézanne’s simple, rustic world’ (ibid., p. 113).
The Ginger Jar was painted around 1918, it has an expressive energy of both brushwork and palette that had been encouraged by both Peploe’s residence in Paris and his ongoing visits to the South of France. With Peploe’s election as Associate member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1918, this affirmation further encouraged his ambition and quest to explore the potential of that most academic of subjects, the still-life. As Elizabeth Cummings suggests about The Ginger Jar ‘the design balance lies in beautifully lit and outlined forms and their shadows. Every object has its rightful place and the colour palette is chosen with absolute precision’ (see exhibition catalogue, A. Strang, E. Cummings and F. Fowle, S.J. Peploe, National galleries of Scotland 2012, p. 67). The assemblage of objects and surfaces are exquisitely bound together in this work by Peploe’s ability to set areas of strong colour side by side and to offset these areas with a complex play of white tones. As Guy Peploe explains: ‘His new studio in Queen Street was bright ... and he painted the walls white and kept the room as light as possible. Now he would very often employ a straight line to divide his composition into table-top and background drape. He was still interested in rich pattern-making but this was exercised in the choice of a piece of drapery or a Japanese print as objects within his still-life composition. Peploe never allowed his experiments with colour and structure to consume his lifelong concern with his matière: the substance of the paint itself. By 1916 ... he has reduced the evidence of the brushmarks ... in favour of greater naturalism ... Peploe paints the half-tones in the shadows and models his objects to effect a monumentality which will return in another ten years but which in the immediate gives way to pure colour’ (G. Peploe, ibid., pp. 53-54).
This was a period of particularly enthusiastic activity for Peploe in which he painted many of his greatest still-lifes. The sculptural quality of Peploe’s work for the journal Rhythm, of which J.D. Fergusson was the editor, permeated into his oil paintings around this time and the flattened pictorial space and pure colour of the present work demonstrates the artist’s appreciation of the Cubists and Fauves. Peploe’s work was not concerned with self-consciously clever manipulations of light or distance and there is no meaning to be read in the symbolism of the objects, fruit or flowers represented. His still-lifes portray the simple but fascinating and dynamic qualities of form and colour.
The Ginger Jar is a brilliant, evocative and modern painting by Peploe and remains today as it was when painted, as one of the artist’s most important works.
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