Samuel John Peploe (1871-1935), Ben More from Iona

Artist: Samuel John Peploe (1871-1935)

Title: Ben More from Iona

Date: c.1924

Medium: oil on canvas

Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery, Fife Council Museums, Kirkcaldy, UK

EMu user since 2010



Ben More from IonaSamuel John Peploe is one of Scotland’s most significant artists and is probably the most famous of the four Scottish Colourists. As well as still lifes, Peploe also painted many landscapes in his own country and also in France.

The small Hebridean island of Iona first attracted Peploe in 1920 and he returned there regularly over the next thirteen years. He loved the ever-changing vibrant colours of Scotland’s west coast and often painted outdoors in all weather.

This work was done at the north end of the island, looking over the narrow strip of sea to the larger neighbouring island of Mull. A sense of peace, calm and emptiness fills the canvas. The eye is led from the warm pinks and creamy whites of the beach through the turquoise water to rest in the cool blue distant peak of Ben More, Mull’s highest mountain.

This is one of a remarkable group of thirty eight oils by Peploe which belongs to Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery, the largest collection of his oil paintings held anywhere. It originally belonged to local linen manufacturer and Art Gallery Convener, J.W. Blyth. This work, along with many others from Blyth’s collection, was purchased with assistance from the Local Museums Purchase Fund and the National Art Collections Fund in 1964.

Acknowledgements: Fife Council Libraries, Arts, Museums and Archives; Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery