Samuel Peploe

Samuel Peploe
In the course of a career that bridged the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Scottish painter Samuel John Peploe moved his style from more straightforward realism into a painterly Manet-like approach — particularly to still life — that was marked by a striking economy and brushy, calligraphic paint marks; then to a flattened, boldly geometric manner, more like that of Cezanne; finally distilling his subjects down to a rarified, Fauve-like colorist style, in the course of which he eventually loses my attention.

On the cusp of his late style, however, his textural paint surface and strong geometry are wonderful, much more interesting to my eye than a number of other, more well known painters working in that vein.

But it’s Peploe’s earlier, painterly realism, with its darker palette and subdued compositions, that I find extraordinary. Every mark, every stroke, every dab of color adds to the whole; nothing is wasted or inessential.

Simply. Beautiful.


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