About this artwork

This is a portrait of Jeannie Blyth, a gypsy flower seller who posed for Peploe on many occasions from the age of fifteen or sixteen. Her dark colouring and lack of self-consciousness made her one of his favourite models. The artist’s use of dark colours and loose brushwork in this painting shows the influence of Dutch art. Peploe had visited Holland in 1895 and returned with reproductions of paintings by Rembrandt and Frans Hals. He would also have been able to see their work at the National Gallery of Scotland.

Samuel John Peploe

Samuel John Peploe

Peploe is one of the group of four artists known as the 'Scottish Colourists.' Born in Edinburgh, he studied art in Paris and lived there from 1910 to 1912. It was through painting holidays in Northern France that he was introduced to the use of bold colour, inspired by the bright sunlight. He later experienced the same intensity of light while painting on the island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland. French painting proved to be a powerful influence for Peploe throughout his life. Although his work never became abstract, it was characterised by tight composition, strong colour and assured handling.