Paintings by Artists Who Died in Obscurity for Bonhams Edinburgh Auction

Paintings by the world renowned Scottish Colourists, who never lived to see the fame they enjoy today, go under the hammer at Bonhams in Edinburgh on 31 August, 2011.


Francis Cadell,The White Room estimated at £250,000 – 400,000

The four Colourists, Samuel Peploe, Francis Cadell, John Fergusson and George Hunter are now collected avidly both in Scotland and overseas. This was not always the case, however, and when Peploe, Cadell and Hunter died in the 1930s their work was little regarded. Cadell, for example, whose painting, ‘The White Room’ is estimated in the sale at £250,000 – 400,000 died destitute in Edinburgh in 1937. Peploe, whose ‘Flowers and Fruit’ carries an estimate of £300,000-500,000, died in 1935 and Hunter, whose ‘Still Life with Chair and Vase of Flowers’ carries an estimate of £80,000-120,000, in 1931. Fergusson lived until 1961 and assumed a grandfather status in the Scottish art world but his reputation was largely confined to Scotland. His ‘At the Milliner’s Paris’ is estimated at £180,000-250,000.

Work by the Colourists is now much sought after for its use of vibrant colour and the application of French Impressionists and Post Impressionist techniques in a Scottish setting.

Bonhams Head of Picture in Edinburgh, Chris Brickley, said, “The Colourists would no doubt be amazed at the high regard in which their work is held today both by collectors and museums. Although they absorbed influences from abroad their paintings are entirely distinctive and unmistakably Scottish in feel and we’re delighted to be holding a sale of this quality in Edinburgh.”

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