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North Berwick Dated 1903

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Peploe began to paint 'en plein air' in around 1896, in North Berwick, a coastal town east of Edinburgh. He made this small, loosely handled work there in 1903. The grey northern light at dusk contrasts with the bright Mediterranean light he was later to capture in France. However, the free brush strokes and rich, impasto paint become common characteristics of his later work.

Glossary Open

En plein air

A French expression meaning ‘in the open air’. It refers to the practice of painting a complete picture outside as apposed to a creating a preparatory sketch or study. The technique was developed during the mid 1800’s by Constable in Britain, in France by the Barbizon School painters such as Courbet and Corot and later by the Impressionist painters including Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Artists using the technique sought to capture the essence of natural light. In the second half of the nineteenth century the technique spread throughout much of Europe and into America.


The textured surface of a painting resulting from the thick application of paint.

Scottish Colourists

A group of Scottish painters comprising S.J. Peploe, F.C.B. Cadell, Leslie Hunter and J.D. Fergusson who were active in the early 20th century. They all spent time in France and were influenced by French artists' bold use of colour and free brushwork.

En plein air, Impasto, Scottish Colourists


  • Acc. No. GMA 1945
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size 16.00 x 23.90 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by Dr R.A. Lillie 1977