John Bellany, CBE, RA was a Scottish painter of international repute. His reputation is based upon his painterly handling of oil and watercolour, his exceptional engraving and his use of colour.
An expressionist who fits within the mainstream of European Modern Art, he was born in Port Seton, Scotland, a fishing village that was to become a focus of many of his best works. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art under Sir Robin Phillipson from 1960 to 1965. During this time he gained an Andrew Grant Scholarship in 1962, taking him to Paris and in 1965 he received a Postgraduate Travelling Scholarship which took him to Holland and Belgium.
He went on to attend the Royal College of Art, London, where he studied under Carel Weight and Peter de Francia from 1965 to 1968.
His paintings are generally figurative and strive for simplicity. The message, however, is complex depicting the inter-dependence of man and nature.
His first international solo exhibition was held at Rosa Esman Gallery, New York in 1982 and this quickly led to a string of exhibitions around the world. He is represented in many major public galleries, including MoMa, New York, The Tate and the National Portrait Gallery and shortly before his death was given a major retrospective in the National Gallery of Scotland.