Jack Vettriano was born in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland on November 17 1951 to Italian parents. His birth name is Jack Hoggan.
He is the grandson of Peter Vettriano who came to the shores of Scotland from Italy in 1906. Jack Vettriano has had a meteoric rise to fame from his humble beginnings as a mining engineer in the coalfields of Fife to become one of the most well known Scottish artists of our time.
When Jack Vettriano’s most famous painting The Singing Butler came up for auction in May of 2004 at Sotheby’s Edinburgh sale it shattered records for a painter and recognised a phenomenal price of £750,000.
“The Singing Butler” not only broke the record for the highest amount ever paid for a Jack Vettriano original painting but also smashed the record for the highest bid ever made for a painting at a Scottish auction, the previous record being for just over £500,000 for a Herring painting.
An astonishing achievement given that the original selling price for “The Singing Butler” when it was first sold in 1991 was a mere £3,000. Even more amazing, at this time the painting was turned down by the Royal Academy of London and the Art Establishment, who deemed the painting not good enough to show!
Jack Vettriano and his work have truly become a phenomena and there has been a huge media interest in his life and work. In March 2000 BBC Scotland produced a documentary about Vettriano for their Arts series EX-S and more recently in March of 2004 The South Bank Show devoted a whole one hour programme to Jack Vettriano. The programme included a full interview with Melvyn Bragg and Jack Vettriano and discussion and reaction from fans and collectors of Vettriano’s work. Jack Vettriano has also appeared on the BBC’s desert islands discs radio programme with Sue Lawley, as well as a number of TV breakfast and news programmes.
In addition to the record breaking painting sales Jack Vettriano has also received personal recognition through the Queen’s honours list. In September 2003 Jack Vettriano received an OBE for his services to the artworld and on behalf of his charitable work.
He has also received an honorary degree from the University of St. Andrews.