Probably painted in the late 1930s or early 1940s White and Yellow Tulips in a Blue and White Jug is a quintessential still-life from the period that is generally regarded as Redpath's most successful. Similar in composition and subject-matter to the work of Peploe's paintings of the later 1920s, White and Yellow Tulips in a Blue and White Jug bears comparison with Peploe's series of paintings of tulips. Tulips were one of Redpath's favourite flowers and she painted a number of striking compositions, exploiting the rhythms suggested by the arabesques of the drooping flower heads, including White Tulips in a White Vase of c.1938, Red and White Tulips of c.1940 and Still Life with White Tulips (sold Sotheby's, Edinburgh, 26 April 2007, lot 129). Largely composed of subtle and harmonic blues and whites, Redpath avoided coldness by the use of delicate yellow in the petals of one of the tulip flowers. With this painting Redpath combines the strength of a bold composition with the subtlety of colouring, that mark her experiments in pale tones; 'She was an extrovert and sensitive, and this balance between strength and subtlety is the key to her achievement as a painter.' (Patrick Bourne, Anne Redpath 1895-1965, Her Life and Work, 1989, p.9)
Anne Redpath returned from France in 1934 after unrest between the French and Italians made the Redpath family nervous of remaining on the continent. Settling in Hawick in Scotland, she embarked on the most productive and spontaneous period of her career. Almost immediately in that year she was elected a Professional Member of the Society of Scottish Artists, four years before Still Life with White Tulips was painted, she was made a Member of the Scottish Society of Women Artists. A flamboyant character, brimming with energy, Anne Redpath was a striking figure in her studio and it was in studio painting that she found her greatest freedom of expression. Interiors and still lifes rather than landscape afforded her a much greater control of her subject and fired her imagination. Witty, droll and with an unerring judgement of character, Redpath was never pretentious (she despised artifice) and always welcoming of those who were genuine. Her paintings reflect her sensitive and open character, particularly in the lack of artifice of the still-life arrangements in which she found her distinctive voice.
Terence Mullaly noted the importance of subtle colouring in Redpath's work from the 1930s; 'pinks and greys, mauve and lilacs are colours which she commands. Equally remarkable is Anne Redpath's use of white. I have now for several years lived with a large still life by her which is in effect a study in white. It is a picture of beauty; handled with boldness, indeed bravura. It combines to a degree today, rare decisive use of paint, an uninhibited delight in its qualities, and a respect for the thing seen.' (Terence Mullaly, Anne Redpath Memorial Exhibition catalogue, The Arts Council of Great Britain Scottish Committee, 1965, p.3.)
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