John Bellany RA
was born into a family of fishermen and boat-builders on 18th June 1942 in Port
Seton, East Lothian. His father and grandfather were fishermen and he worked
gutting fish during his student days. Much of his work reflects the inspiration
that he drew from the coastal communities from which he came. He spent a great
deal of time in Eyemouth on the Scottish borders.
was perhaps one of the best known Scottish figurative painters of recent years.
During his life and career, he gained a huge reputation in the art world. His
paintings are still to be found in the Tate Britain, all the major Scottish
Galleries, and in museums throughout the world including The Museum of Modern
Art New York and the Metropolitan Museum New York. In 1994 he was awarded the
paintings have been compared to Beckmann and Breughel, the clarity of line in
his drawings and etchings have been compared to that of Rembrandt. He has
produced intense, highly coloured works filled with symbolism which comment on
the complexities of the human condition.
importantly Bellany has established his own artistic identity, an identity that
is clearly identifiable and which has brought him tremendous recognition. His
large scale works often incorporate hybrid human and animal forms, while
towards the end of his career his work became less tortured, more optimistic
and increasingly mellow.
Bellany passed away in 2013
but leaves behind a remarkable legacy. Bellany was arguably one of Scotland's
greatest modern figurative painters and throughout his career he produced an
extraordinary and influential body of work.
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