Jack’s singing butler is a leader in new art survey

Jack Vettriano (Pic: Ian Rutherford/TSPL)
Jack Vettriano (Pic: Ian Rutherford/TSPL)

Jack Vettriano has scored more public acclaim for his artwork.

His famous painting, The Singing Butler, has been voted one of the UK’s all-time favourite works of art.

It was listed in the top three along with a Banksy and one by Constable.

The shortlist was drawn up by the The Frame National Art Audit, which was commissioned by Samsung, and included everything from a Sex Pistols’ album cover to the Angel Of The North.

Vettriano’s painting is now 25 years old, and it has proved to be not only one of his most enduring images, but a record-breaker too.

Rejected by the Royal Academy for its summer exhibition in 1992, it was first sold privately for £3,500.

The price tag rose to £5000 just four years later, and then soared to £90,000 at auction in 2003.

But that figure paled into insignificance when the Singing Butler returned to go under the hammer in 2007 ... and went for a record £744,480.

Vettriano’s exhibition, Days Of Wine And Roses, in 2010 at Kirkcaldy Galleries and then a major retrospective Kelvingrove Art Gallery in 2013 broke all attendances as fans flocked to see the originals, many of which had been snapped up by private collectors and major celebrity fans.

Vettriano was the only Scottish artist to make the shortlist, and his high placing in the poll underlines the public’s continued enthusiasm for the work by Scotland’s most successful living painter ... despite being snubbed by the country’s art establishment.

Kirkcaldy’s Galleries played a huge role in his move into the art world, and he returned to be part of its opening celebrations after a major refurbishment.

Vettriano grew up in Methil, and many of his early paintings feature local scenes or landmarks, and have gone on to sell in huge numbers around the globe.

He most recently took part in a major project to paint Scottish comedy legend, Sir Billy Connolly, and his work was turned into one of several giant murals on buildings across Glasgow.

Almost one third of those who voted in the Samsung survey,chose The Singing Butler.

Half of the shortlist was drawn from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Banksy’s famous 2002 artwork, Balloon Girl, topped the poll ahead of runner-up went to John Constable’s 1821 romantic landscape The Hay Wain.

The top ten also included the album covers of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, plus Lowry’s painting, Going to the Match,

David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash also figured in the top 15 choices unveiled by the organisers this week.