Jack Vettriano

(Jack Hoggan)

1951 -

Painter. Born Jack Hoggan in Kirkcaldy (Fife) into a Scots-Italian family, Vettriano was brought up in Methil. He left school at sixteen to become a mining engineer in the Fife coalfields. He taught himself to paint after a girl-friend bought him the equipment for his 21st birthday and took his inspiration from a local museum. Reticent to exhibit his work, it was 1989 until it was first shown at the Royal Scottish Academy. At this point he changed his name and moved to Edinburgh to become a professional artist. Further success came at the Royal Academy in London. Vettriano was flattered by the media attention his work and his background gained, although became critical of an arts establishment who he felt did not take his work seriously.

His distinctive style often shows young people posed in what could easily be the set of a 1930s film-set, with cigarette smoke rising and candle-light often adding to the tension-filled atmosphere he creates. Posters based on his paintings have shown extraordinary popularity, making Vettriano Scotland's most commercially-successful artist.

In 2003, Vettriano has been honoured by the award of an OBE for services to the visual arts, together with an honorary degree from St. Andrew's University. In 2004, his Singing Butler smashed all expectations by selling for £744,800 in a sale organised by the auction house Sotheby's at Hopetoun House (West Lothian). This was both a record price for a Scottish painting and for a sale held in Scotland.

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