A few examples, though, usually emerge at the specialist Scottish art sales held north of the border and offer a chance to acquire a work by one of the famous four at an even more affordable level.
One that bought decent interest at Lyon & Turnbull on June 16 was a 10 x 7½in (26 x 19cm) nude study by Samuel John Peploe (1871-1935) that was executed in red chalk.
While nudes do not feature prominently in the artist’s oeuvre, a few oil paintings of sparsely attired reclining women are known. This example was estimated at £2000-3000 and took a £6000 bid.
Meanwhile, at Great Western Auctions on June 17-18 a small view of the Pantheon from the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris by Peploe sold above a £700-1000 estimate. A 3¼ x 4¼in (9 x 11cm) conte on paper, it was a brief and spontaneous sketch and it sold at £1300 (plus 24% buyer’s premium) to the Scottish trade.