Jack Vettriano was born in Fife, Scotland in 1951. He began his working life aged sixteen in the coal-fields of Scotland where he trained and worked as a mining engineer before going on to work at the personnel department at the colliery. He took up painting in 1976 after his girlfriend gave him some watercolour paints for his birthday. Vettriano spent much of his spare time painting and is a self-taught artist; he became known in the art world in 1989 at Royal Scottish Academy's annual exhibition where he had two paintings accepted and sold on the first day. The following year he had three paintings in the Royal Academy, London Summer Show which also received an overwhelming public response.
Vettriano's figurative work is inspired by his main loves: nostalgia for his youth and romance. Stylistically his work is reminiscent of 1940-50s Film Noir cinema; dramatic scenes are atmospherically lit and there is usually an implied but ambiguous narrative.
Over the past two decades, Vettriano's popularity has grown phenomenally and private collectors of his work include Jack Nicolson and Terrence Conran. Vettriano has had sell-out solo shows internationally and his most famous piece The Singing Butler sold at a Sotheby's auction for £744,800. In 2003, Vettriano was awarded an OBE for Services to the Visual Arts.