John Bellany | A Passion for Life

  • 17th November 2012 − 27th January 2013 | Academy (Scottish National Gallery) | £7 (£5)

The 1990s

The effect of his restored health was to give Bellany new ambition. He painted a number of homages to some of his revered Old Masters—Titian, Rembrandt and Delacroix, in particular. Courtesy of the British Council he travelled in Central Europe for three months in 1992, visiting Prague, Dresden, Vienna and Budapest, drawing inspiration from the resilience of the people in the former communist countries, as they struggled to make a living. In 1996 he went to Mexico, and was astonished not only by the vibrancy and colour of the country, but also by the way the Mexicans smiled in the face of adversity and death. Bellany’s experience of seeing the celebrations of the Day of the Dead made him question his whole Calvinist outlook on life and death.