Elected ARSA: 20 March 1918

Elected RSA: 09 February 1927

Samuel John Peploe died on the 11th October after an illness which had lasted some considerable time, followed by an operation from which, most regrettably, he never rallied. Born at Manor Place, Edinburgh, on 27th January 1871, son of Robert L. Peploe, Manager of the Commercial Bank of Scotland, he was educated at the Collegiate School, Charlotte Square (Dr. Bryce), and Edinburgh University.


He essayed, under persuasion, both the beginning of aw as a career and read for the Army; his personal desire prevailed, however, and he entered the Art School at the Mound, under Hodder. In 1902 his name is found on the roll of the Academy's Life School.


Among his fellow students in that year were David Muirhead and Robert Brough, whose promise was brought to so untimely an end by an accident, was a great friend of Peploe, and in Paris, whither they proceeded, they lived together, sharing rooms and studio. Peploe studied in the Academie Julien, under Bouguereau, and subsequently painted at Barbizon, Paris-plage and Etaples.


A period in Scotland intervened after his studentship, but in 1910 he returned to Paris for some years. Finally settling in Edinburgh, he still revisited France again and again, to paint in Royan, Cassis and Antibes. In Scotland in his younger days he worked largely on the island of Barra, and latterly found many subjects at Iona; he also painted in Perthshire and Kirkcudbright.


Mr. Peploe became an Associate of the Academy in 1918, and in 1927 was elected a full member. Works by him are to be found in the Luxembourg (2), the National Gallery of British Art, in Sydney (Australia), Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and other Scottish Municipal Collections.


Peploe's art, altogether French in tradition, groups itself distinctly in two manners. The earlier, influenced by Manet, is brilliant in its technical dexterity, with fluent brushwork in rich tones, and an enamelled surface. After 1910, following the theory of Cézanne, he became interested in the predominance of the arrangement of the picture space and sacrificed the representational to some extent.


These later works are in comparatively pale schemes of colour, with a dry surface. Though best known by his pictures of still-life, he was equally distinguished in landscape and in figure, and was an excellent draughtsman. 


RSA Obituary, transcribed from the 1935 RSA Annual Report