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Lost work found on reverse of painting

A LONG-lost painting by one of Scotland's most famous artists has been found on the back of another work that has hung for decades in an Edinburgh home.

The family had planned for restoration work to be done on the landscape setting of Iona beach by Scottish colourist SJ Peploe.

But when a board pinned to the back of the canvas was removed it revealed an entirely separate painting on the reverse side.

The previously unseen 1920s piece portrays two boys - Peploe's sons Willie and Denis - dressed in their Edinburgh Academy uniforms posing with a cricket bat. The find stunned the artist's grandson Guy Peploe, who was handed the £85,000 painting to prepare for sale at his New Town gallery. He said: "Seeing this painting of my father (Denis) and uncle (William) on the back which we didn't know was there, was incredible. It is actually the only painting I have ever seen of my father by SJ Peploe.

"My grandfather must have done this painting of my father and Uncle Willie, which is actually a lovely composition, and then perhaps thought, 'Is anyone going to be interested? Perhaps not'.

He might then turn it around so there's a new unpainted canvas and start all over again."

The two-for-one artwork gives a unique insight into the world of the acclaimed post-Impressionist, one of the four major artists who became known as the Scottish Colourists.

SJ Peploe's 'double A side' will be on show at The Scottish Gallery from tomorrow as part of its Modern Masters III exhibition and will run until July 26.

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