Today, the four artists known as the Scottish Colourists, S.J.Peploe, J.D. Fergusson, Leslie Hunter, and F.C.B. Cadell are acknowledged as one of the most talented, experimental and distinctive groups in twentieth century British art. They did not emerge as a quartet until relatively late in their careers, when their Glasgow dealer staged the first group show in Paris in 1924. France unlocked the young Scots’ creativity and emboldened them to explore the frontiers of contemporary art from the emerging Post-Impressionist giants, Cezanne and Van Gogh, to the ‘wild beasts’, known as the Fauves, a group which cut loose from representational values to convey an emotional reality through an expressive, often brutish, use of pure colour and line.
The shock of the Fauves turned the older two artists, Peploe and Fergusson, into full blown Colourists, clearing the path for Cadell and Hunter to follow.
Acclaimed in the 1920s as still life and landscape painters, the 1930s saw the end of the group with the relatively early deaths of Peploe, Hunter and Cadell.