Peploe Exhibition in St. Andrews


A day trip north to St. Andrews. A lot of Americans in strange costume carrying clubs.
Unknown to me in advance, and by great good fortune there is an Exhibition of the work of Samuel John Peploe running at the St. Andrews municipal museum. One of my all-time favourite artists, Peploe was the leading Scottish colourist. He is massively underrated and should be up there with Cezanne, Chardin and Manet, but is hardly known outside of Scotland.

The curator has gathered together about 16 or 20 of his works, all of them owned by Fife Council and usually on display at their Kirkcaldy art gallery. It is a small exhibition but quite exquisite. It takes you from his very early days when his palette could only be described as dark and dingy, to the very height of his later achievements in glorious colour and light. You can trace his development and influences, particularly from the French impressionists and as you walk the room the paintings get deeper, more intense in their colour and flooding with light, until towards the end of his career he begins to ever so slightly mute the colour intensity.

It was a real treat to stumble across this. And fair play to Fife Council. I don’t know too many English Councils with such splendid art collections.

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