From very humble beginnings, Jack Vettriano has risen to become one of the most successful living artists. Born as Jack Hoggan in 1941 in Fife, Scotland, he grew up in an industrial landscape. Like most of his peers, he left school aged 16 and entered the coal mining industry as an apprentice mining engineer. It was some years before he began exploring the artistic talents which have given him world renown.
His earliest paintings were copies of impressionist paintings but, in 1998 he submitted two canvases to the Royal Scottish Academy to be shown in their annual show. This marked a breakthrough in commercial terms for Vettriano as both paintings sold on the first day of the exhibition and, specifically, he was approached by other galleries who wanted to sell his output.
Other commercially successful exhibitions followed in places around the world including Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, and New York.
Jack Vettriano prints: $ 1m
Many art critics dismiss Vettriano's work as 'vulgar' and 'devoid of imagination'. This criticism does not seem to affect the sales of his work though. According to the daily UK newspaper, The Guardian, he earns £ 500,000 (around $ 1,000,000) a year in print royalties alone. Perhaps his prints are so highly valued because they are very romantic and evocative of a bygone, more elegant age.
Singing Butler and Others
The Singing Butler, his most famous work, which romantically shows an elegant couple dancing on a beach attended by what seems to be a maid and a butler sells more posters and postcards than any other painting in the UK.
Billy Boys is another iconic Vettriano painting that crops up in print form in lots of stylish locations. Once again, it's a beach scene which shows four immaculately dressed young men strolling along the shoreline.
Almost Turneresque is the hugely romantic 'Dance Me To The End Of Love' which shows three couples, once again, elegantly dressed, dancing through a misty haze.
Celebrity Client List
Vettriano has studios in Scotland and London. He is represented by the Portland Gallery, London and includes Jack Nicholson and Terence Conran amongst his collectors. In 2003 he was awarded the OBE.