Jack Vettriano’s Film Noir style of painting has been compared to the realism of Hopper and Sickert. His scudded beaches are often likened to those of Boudin.
Jack Vettriano has the ability to manipulate paint in veiled glazes and meaningful shadows bring out a hidden narrative in his pieces. His enigmatic compositions create an ambiguous sense of narrative and starting point for dozens of short stories in the form of colour and images.
Jack Vettriano is a true rag to riches story. Growing up in poverty in an industrial seaside town in Fife 50 miles from Glasgow. His father sent him out delivery papers and milk, cleaning windows and picking potatoes from the age of 10. At 16 he left school and became an apprentice mining engineer.
Things started to change for Jack on his 21st birthday, when a girlfriend bought him a set of watercolours as a present, following this he started painting as a hobby.
Under his birth name “Jack Hoggan”, his earliest paintings were pastiches of impressionist paintings. These were by the likes of Caravaggio, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, Dali and Singer Sargent, which he copied from books he borrowed from Kirkcaldy library.
Jack applied to study Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh, however, his portfolio was rejected.
Later in 1989, Jack submitted two canvases to the Royal Scottish Academy annual show – both sold on the first day. Following this, several galleries approached Jack who wanted to sell his other artworks. By this point, he had begun using his mother’s maiden name – Vettriano.
Three new paintings were greeted with an equally enthusiastic reaction the following year. Consequently, Vettriano entered these paintings for the prestigious Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy, with further exhibitions in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. His new life as an artist began in earnest.
Jack Vettriano has worldwide acclaim and is the most popular and successful Scottish artist in history, holding an honorary degree from the University of St Andrew’s, and has been awarded an OBE.
“The Singing Butler” is Vettriano’s most famous artwork, selling for £744,500 at Sotheby’s. Today it is considered one of the most popular works of art of all time.
Vettriano’s artworks can be found in the private collections of Jack Nicholson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Tim Rice and Robbie Coltrane.
2010 saw Jack Vettriano awarded “Great Scot of the Year”. His collection – ‘Days Of Wine And Roses’ was opened at the Kirkcaldy Museum by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. Following this in 2011, Jack’s self-portrait ‘The Weight’ was displayed at the newly reopened Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Jack Vettriano’s work is beloved around the globe and he remains one of the UK’s most popular artists because his classically intimate and chic depictions appeal to art collectors old and new.
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