S J Peploe

Still Life with White Jug

  • Signed (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 22 x 18 ins


Private Collection
Acquired from the above by the present owner

This painting is on loan.

Of the four Scottish Colourists, S J Peploe focussed most on still life as a genre. His approach to still life changed over his career, and here in these later still lifes, we see more subtle and muted tones than in many of his earlier works. The pure whites in the jug and the lighter tones in the tablecloth show Peploe's dextrous ability to contrast light and shade, and in the black fan that is depicted to the left hand side of the composition one can see clearly his skilful handling of the effect that light has on his subjects.

The depiction of the fruit in the centre of the composition illustrates Peploe's finesse in his handling of his subject matter. With extraordinary economy of line, the viewer is granted a truly tangible impression of the apples and pears, displaying the influence of neo-Cubism in Peploe's work. Peploe's painterly shading of the tablecloth in the work also conveys his confidence, as he uses several different shades of white and grey in amongst the deeper pinks and reds creating a visual contrast within the work. The more the painting is studied, the more we see Peploe's complex interpretation of his subject matter - not being content to just read a scene as it is, he sees, revisits and reimagines each aspect of the painting, and in doing so, exhibits swaggering flashes of genius.