Denis Peploe was a British painter and sculptor. Born in Edinburgh in 1914, Peploe began his artist education in 1931 at the Edinburgh College of Art before moving to Paris to study sculpture in 1935. Following his studies the artist travelled widely in search of inspiration, frequenting the artistic centres of continental Europe and exploring rural villages throughout the Mediterranean. During the Second World War Peploe served with the Royal Artillery, where he was involved in a debilitating accident whilst stationed in North Africa. Peploe did not begin to paint again until 1947. The artist participated in a solo exhibition at The Scottish Gallery in his native Edinburgh in the same year, which was well received by the popular press and the artistic community. His landscape paintings, most commonly depicting the Hebrides and Western Highlands of Scotland, were widely celebrated alongside his accomplished but less frequent still life and figure studies. In 1952 Peploe held his first solo exhibition in London at the Hazlitt Gallery, followed by a significant show in Glasgow in 1953. The artist continued to exhibit at The Scottish Gallery. Following his previous travels to the continent before the War, Peploe returned to Spain several times throughout the 1950s. The landscape influenced his work significantly during this time. The artist’s time spent travelling in countries such as Greece and Italy inspired Peploe to explore sculpture, a medium which he used to create several portrait busts.
Alongside his successful professional career as a painter and sculptor, Peploe taught at the Edinburgh College of Art for several years from 1955 to 1979. Peploe was elected Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1956, becoming full Academician in 1966. Peploe continued to paint late in to his life. A significant retrospective of the artist’s work was held at The Scottish Gallery in 1984, which led to a further show in 1988 and in 1990 at the gallery’s London location. The artist died in 1993. His work can be seen today in several collections in his native Scotland, including the Royal Scottish Academy.