A Profile of Jack Vettriano

A short Profile of Jack Vettriano just had to be one of the pages of my website. In showing you around the "enchanting" Kingdom of Fife, and introducing you to some of the famous 20th Century Scots, I could hardly leave out one of Fife's own sons.

Jack Vettriano has been at the centre of controversy during his career, but I just LOVE his work.

The romantic scenes truly ‘touch’ me, or should I say 'enchant' me. Unfortunately I can't afford any of his original paintings but we have a few of his prints, which are the next best thing!!

His paintings/prints make ideal gifts for your loved one at Christmas, birthdays, wedding anniversary, or Valentine's day.

Local people are immensely proud of Jack’s work and an Exhibition of his work was held in the Museum and Art Gallery in Kirkcaldy in 2006, much to the delight of his fans. His popularity locally has even lead to a Builder naming a new modern Housing Estate in Methil has been named after him, ‘Vettriano Vale'.

Jack Vettriano was born on 17th November 1951 in the Kingdom of Fife in Scotland. Originally Jack Hoggan, he grew up in the seaside town of Methil (next to the popular holiday town of Leven, Fife. He left school at 16 and became an apprentice mining engineer.

You would think a profile of Jack Vettriano would reveal that he used a paint brush from childhood, but Jack only took up painting as a hobby in his twenties when his girl friend bought him a set of water colours, and he developed his hobby and found his artistic talent.

His earliest paintings were copies of impressionist paintings (his first painting apparently was a copy of Monet's work Poppy Fields).

Jack’s big breakthrough came when he submitted two canvases for the Royal Scottish Academy annual show in 1988. Both paintings sold on the first day and he was approached by several galleries who wanted to sell his other work. The success and attention of this has been reported as being contributory to the breakdown of his first marriage and he moved to Edinburgh and he changed his name to Vettriano (his mother's maiden name).

However, further international successful exhibitions followed for Jack in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and New York.

His paintings have romantic and evocative themes.

Art critics have generally dismissed Jack’s work, it has been described as being "vulgar and devoid of imagination", but the general public love his work, despite what the art critics say, and even this short profile of Jack Vettriano shows him to be one of the most commercially successful of all living artists.

His original paintings now regularly fetch huge six figure prices,(which is why I can't afford one!) but he is thought to make more money from the sale of reproductions. Each year a new set of limited edition prints are published, and his most popular work, "The Singing Butler", sells more posters and postcards than any other painting in the UK.



In April 2004 the original of "The Singing Butler" sold at auction for £744,500 — in stark contrast to the time in 1992 when Jack painted the picture and submitted it for inclusion in the Royal Academy summer show, only to be rejected.

In October 2005, Jack’s work became controversial and hit the headlines when it was alleged that figures in some of his paintings, including "The Singing Butler", were based on figures from an artists' reference manual, 'The Illustrator's Figure Reference Manual'. However, as Jack never denied being self-taught, this ‘accusation’ did not affect or tarnish his reputation or indeed the popularity of his work.

Jack has studios in Scotland and London. He is represented by the Portland Gallery in London.

In 2003 he was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire)

But this profile of Jack Vettriano, like Andrew Carnegie , shows him to be another local Fifer who hasn’t forgotten his home. The Adam Smith College in Kirkcaldy provides ‘art and design’ subjects, which have already received wide acclaim. It is supported by former pupil and one of the world’s most celebrated artists, Jack Vettriano, who sponsors an exclusive annual scholarship.

Incidentally the college’s drama course has also helped produce two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Dougray Scott and Ewan McGregor.

Below are some of my favourite Jack Vettriano Pictures. I hope you will enjoy them too.

See also the following pages:-


Alexander Fleming - His discovery of Penicillin changed the world.
Andrew Carnegie - The great Philanthropist from Dunfermine made his fortune in the Steel Industry and went on to give away much of his money.
Barbara Dickson - The famous singer and actress from Dunfermline.
Ian Rankin - The novelist and author of the famous Inspector Rebus Books.
Jack Vettriano - The painter from Methil in Fife has reached international fame with his wonderful art.
Jimmy Shand - The famous Band Leader, also from Auchtermuchty. The legend of his music lives on.
The Proclaimers - The twin brother singing duo from Auchtermuchty, who made famous the song 'if I could walk 500 miles'.
Gordon Brown - Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was raised and educated in Kirkcaldy, Fife.


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