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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Colourist painting auctions for over £420,000 at Bonhams Scottish sale

An important still life by the Scottish Colourist, Samuel Peploe, was auctioned on August 20 for £421,250 at Bonhams Annual Scottish Sale Part I in Edinburgh.

Still Life of Mixed Roses in Chinese Vase, which had been estimated at £200,000-300,000, was painted at a pivotal moment in Peploe’s artistic career. In the early 1900s Peploe and his fellow Colourist, George Hunter, explored still life painting, a genre for which there was no established tradition in British art. These early, pre First World War, still life paintings were on a small scale and featured everyday objects against a dark background, much influenced by Manet and the Dutch masters. After his return from Paris in 1912, the relatively conservative Peploe became more experimental, employing more vibrant color and dramatic form.

View of Edinburgh Castle sells for over £100,000

Elsewhere in the sale, a recently rediscovered painting of Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street as it would have appeared to the Victorians was sold for £109,250.

The huge canvas – it is over 5ft high – was painted in the early 1860s by the Carlisle born Samuel Bough who after a career as a theater scene painter settled in Scotland in 1855. As an artist and man he had a reputation for being wild and erratic but his best works are regarded as masterpieces. His friend, Robert Louis Stevenson, wrote admiringly in his obituary of the artist, “a painting by Bough was an act of dashing conduct like a capture of a fort in war.” Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street had been in the same family since its purchase and had almost certainly never been exhibited. Its sale establishes a new auction record for a work by the artist.

Head of Pictures at Bonhams Edinburgh, Chris Brickley said, “These are two stunning works by important painters in the history of art in Scotland and I am not surprised they were so keenly sought after.”

In all, the sale raised £1,500,000 with 80% of the lots being sold.