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John Bellany

Born Port Seton, East Lothian, Scotland 1942. Died 2013.

Studied at Edinburgh College of Art (1960-65) and the Royal College of Art (1965-68).

John Bellany is a major figure in the history of Scottish art, whose uncompromising, expressionist paintings vividly reflected the culture of the fishing communities in which he was brought up. Life in these deeply religious communities was beset with danger, hardship, survival and death, all of which appear as subjects in much of Bellany’s work. His confrontational themes and visual language were also influenced by his own experience of depression, alcoholism, serious life-threatening illness and personal tragedy.

For many years teaching was a regular part of Bellany’s career with appointments as lecturer in painting at Brighton College of Art (1968), Winchester College of Art (1969-73) and Goldsmith’s College of Art (1978-84).

For four decades Bellany was widely exhibited and collected throughout the UK and elsewhere in Europe and the USA. Among the numerous institutions where his work can be found are Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery, the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, the National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Library of Congress in Washington. He was made RA in 1991 and appointed CBE in 1994.

The Pianist
Queen of the Night
For Squirrel Barrett