John Bellany | A Passion for Life

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

The 2000s

In 1998 Bellany bought a house in Tuscany. Living the Italian way of life for several months a year reinforced a more life-affirming, optimistic view of things. His paintings became brighter and more colourful; the sense of guilt and personal doom was lifted. He began to paint more and more landscapes, townscapes and harbour scenes. This was no doubt triggered by his frequent travels to other countries (such as China in 2003), but also by his feeling more at home in Italy, surrounded by glorious countryside and charming old towns, and by his frequent visits to Scotland.

In a way this is Bellany coming home, both in terms of subject matter and in terms of voluptuous use of paint and a new joy in colour. Bellany’s recent paintings of port scenes in Scotland, Italy and France come full circle, with the artist painting what he knows best.