A Legacy in Colour | The Peploe Family

7 March 2024 - 6 April 2024
Tuesday 19th March 2024, 03:30pm

Grandmother's Footsteps | a film by Lola Peploe

Born: 1871
Place of Birth: Edinburgh
Died: 1935

Born in 1871, he is the senior of the four artists now known as The Scottish Colourists. S.J. Peploe had his first exhibition at The Scottish Gallery in 1903 and a life long association with us until his untimely death in 1935. He lived in Paris from 1910 until 1912, where his work changed radically from paintings reminiscent of Manet and Sargent to brilliant Fauvist works which placed him in the vanguard of British Modernism. By the time of his early death aged sixty-four in 1935, he was recognised as a great painter but only by a small coterie of collectors and curators, like Ion Harrison and Stanley Cursiter and it has taken a further fifty years for his national and international significance to be fully appreciated.

We have more available works by S.J. Peploe. Please contact the Gallery if you would like to arrange an appointment to view the works we currently have available for sale.

Furthermore, should you have any work you would be interested in selling please do contact the gallery on 0131 558 1200.

Guy Peploe is the world’s leading authority on the work of S.J. Peploe.


Born: 1914
Died: 1993

Denis Peploe was born in 1914, the second son of the celebrated Scottish Colourist S J Peploe. Denis Peploe enrolled at Edinburgh College of Art at the age of seventeen where he was a contemporary of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and Margaret Mellis. He won post-diploma scholarships to Paris and Florence and took advantage of opportunity to travel extensively in Spain, Italy and Yugoslavia. He first exhibited at The Scottish Gallery in 1947, to critical acclaim. The Glasgow Herald critic responded to the exhibition, saying he was “an artist born fully armed”; and The Bulletin critic wrote: “the general impression of the exhibition is that we have in Denis Peploe a vital and adventurous painter”. Reviewers never avoided mention of his father, and though one couldn’t confuse their work there were similarities in their approaches: each picture was a response to a particular subject, either intellectual or emotional. His son, Gallery Director, Guy Peploe explains:

‘While he was intimately exposed to the mainstream of European art he remained better defined as an artist who responded directly to his subject, en plein air or in the studio. Here the challenge was a live model, or the intellectual exercise of reinvigorating the still life subject. His work remained free of political or art-world references but was at the same time formed by the century of modernism, the times of unprecedented turmoil and change to which he belonged. His response was to cleave to the idea that art was important, even redemptive and that it could somehow describe a better, or more vital place.’

We would be delighted to hear from you if you are considering selling any works by Denis Peploe.

Born: 1869
Died: 1933

W.W. Peploe was the older brother of S.J. Peploe, and a talented artist in his own right. He never took the leap to imagine a professional career. Instead, he worked, eventually as Manager with his father’s bank, at the Stockbridge branch from 1901. The brothers were close and they often holidayed together, particularly after the Great War travelling to Iona where Willie made competent drawings of the vistas. In 1906 he published Memories and Illusions a book of thirty black and white drawings in Indian ink, described in the frontispiece as “A Gift to his Friends.” Subsequently the Booklovers Magazine, an American journal published between 1903 and 1909 with a peak circulation of 100,000, reproduced a number of the images with positive notes from the editor. French symbolism is clearly linked and the work of Aubrey Beardsley a direct influence both stylistically and thematically.

Born: 1915
Died: 1997

Clotilde (Cloclo) Peploe was born in 1915. She was the daughter of Christopher Brewster, an American born in Austria and Elizabeth von Hildebrandt, a daughter of an Austrian sculptor who has acquired a former monastery called San Francesco in Florence as family home and studio. Elizabeth was also a painter and she and her daughter travelled extensively for work and inspiration in Italy in the thirties. During the 1930’s Clotilde and her mother spent long months painting together in southern Italy, and later in Corfu and on mainland Greece. At the same time she became romantically attached to Willy Peploe, son of the Scottish artist, S.J. Peploe, whom she married in Athens in November 1939. Her typical subject is the arid, mineral landscape of Calabria and the Greek islands, complex, ancient landscapes at once fertile and hostile. The film Grandmother’s Footsteps is a charming and beautiful bio-pic and meditation on the calling of the artist made in recent years by Lola Peploe

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