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The latest exhibition in the ICONS series, celebrates the life of one of the most prolific and acclaimed Scottish artists of his generation, John Bellany (1942 - 2013).

ICONS II: John Bellany brings together works from the artist’s long career, including The Kiss (1972), The Bellany Family (1968) and Fishing Boat Poseidon in Harbour (1994). At the centre of this exhibition is one of the best-known works of Bellany’s career, The Boat Builders (1962), a painting rarely seen in public.

John Bellany’s works have been exhibited across the world and purchased by collectors, such as Sean Connery and David Bowie. Known for sailing against the tide of realism and abstraction from the start of his career in the 1960s, he addressed complexities of the human condition such as guilt, sex and death. He is particularly known for documenting the lives of the fishing communities of the east coast of Scotland. Working prolifically to re-establish a native, figurative art, he drew on his life growing up in a family of fishermen and boat builders in Port Seton, near Edinburgh. The sea was a familiar subject of his work.

The Scottish Maritime Museum will be loaning The Boat Builders (1962) to Perth Museum and Art Gallery after acquiring it in 2018 with support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), Art Fund and the National Fund for Acquisitions as part of an ongoing programme to enhance its collection with artworks of national significance.

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