About this artwork

Peploe's early landscape painting was always small in scale, painted directly in front of his subject on small wooden panels, as in this painting. He first visited the island of Barra, in the Outer Hebrides, in 1894, returning there in 1902 and 1903, the year in which this work was made. It is a quiet, free painting which shows The Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea on the slopes above Castlebay. The painting was made spontaneously without preparatory sketches. Peploe has applied thickly-loaded brush strokes directly to the surface of the wood. Smearing colours on top of each other without waiting for the paint to dry has resulted in large areas of creamy impasto.

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.