(b St Andrews, 17 Nov. 1951).
Scottish painter of figure compositions. He is entirely self-taught and did not take up art full-time until he was 36, after exhibiting—and immediately selling—two paintings at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, in 1988. Subsequently, he has achieved enormous commercial success, not only with exhibitions of his work in Britain and abroad, but also with reproductions of his paintings as posters, greetings cards, and so on. His most famous work, The Singing Butler (1992, priv. coll.), has for several years been described as the bestselling print in Britain. This picture has a humorous quality, but Vettriano's paintings more typically have a sinister or erotic feeling, as if they were stills from a steamy crime movie. Collectors of his paintings include several famous show business figures, but critics have generally dismissed his work for its ‘magazine slickness’.