Craigie Aitchison was born in Kincardie-on-Forth, and grew up in Dunbartonshire and on the Island of Arran. He studied law but later turned to art, attending the Slade School of Fine Art in London. His paintings are renowned for their sparse but balanced composition and for the use of intense, pure and flatly-applied colour. After visiting Italy in 1955, Aitchison was inspired by the landscape and religious art but most profoundly affected by the light, which influenced him to begin producing his signature richly-coloured paintings. Aitchison’s subject matter was traditional – still lifes, portraiture and landscape, though he was particularly associated with religious paintings. His depictions of the Crucifixion form a major part of his artistic output and have a timeless and poetic quality.