John Bellany, painter and printmaker, born in 1942, was part of a long family tradition of fishermen and shipbuilders. John Bellany attended Edinburgh College of Art, 1960-65. Whilst there, he won an ‘Andrew Grant Scholarship‘, permitting travel to Paris. For several years with Alexander Moffat he showed his pictures outside the Royal Scottish Academy. Bellany completed his education at the Royal College of Art in 1965-68. It was as a student at the RCA, in 1967, that Bellany visited the Buchenwald concentration camp, this coincided with a series of personal and emotional breakdowns which occurred well into the 1970s.
John Bellany’s depression led to self-destruction and serious ill health, reflected in his paintings this darker period of his life. The start of the 1980s saw a reinvigoration in his life after a successful liver transplant operation inspired a series of paintings.
He was awarded the CBE in 1994, and his works are held in major collections across Europe and America, including the National Galleries of Scotland, the Tate collection and the MOMA in New York. Bellany died on 28 August 2013.