The Singing Butler debuts at Kelvingrove

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Bluebird at Bonneville (© Jack Vettriano)

Bluebird at Bonneville (© Jack Vettriano)

Jack Vettriano is without doubt one of the UK’s most popular living painters. His well-publicised differences of opinion with the British art establishment over the years have done nothing to dimish the public’s appetite for his enigmatic butlers and ballgowned dancers and sometimes dark depictions of shady, sharp-faced men and vulnerable sirens.

Vettriano is reckoned to earn well into six figures annually from the licencing of prints of his work but now, for the first time, you can get to see the originals of such globally known paintings such as Dance me to the end of Love, Bluebird at Bonneville, The Billy Boys and The Singing Butler at a unique retrospective of his works from 1992-2012 at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery.

Star Cafe (© Jack Vettriano)

Star Cafe (© Jack Vettriano)

.Three years in the making, the exhibition offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view paintings that have been assembled  for the first time from private collections worldwide.

While it includes his best-known, romantically themed works, the 100 or so paintings also include a broad range of Vettriano’s rarely seen early works, his erotically charged night-time interiors and painterly self-portraits plus his special commissions for the Bluebird Club celebrating Sir Malcolm Campbell’s land-speed records and others created to mark the centenary of the Yacht Club of Monaco’s world-famous yacht, Tuiga.

Opening at the end of last month, the exhibition – and the shop! – has been doing brisk business ever since and will probably continue to do so until it closes in February next year. Don’t miss it!

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James Carney

James is a Media Manager at VisitScotland,