John Bellany: The Boat Builders, 1962

John Bellany was born in Port Seton, East Lothian in 1942. He attended Edinburgh College of Art from 1960 to 1965 and studied painting under Sir Robin Philipson, who was known as a significant and influential presence on the Scottish Art Scene.

Bellany painted ‘The Boat Builders’ in 1962 and is considered unusual for an artist who had not yet matured in style or approach, which further adds to its interest.

Due to the size of the painting, it has rarely been seen since its creation in 1962; In fact, the Bellany Estate believes that it has only been on view to the public once and this was for at a retrospective exhibition at the National Galleries of Scotland in 2012.

The painting acts as a fitting tribute to all of Scotland's ship and boat building history and heritage, especially the many workers involved in this industry both past and present.

The Boat Builders’ by John Bellany (1942-2013)
Scottish Maritime Museum
6 Gottries Road, Irvine, Ayrshire, KA12 8QE
Grant awarded: 
Year awarded: 

One of John Bellany's 'key works' acquired by the Scottish Maritime Museum for permanent display

After remaining in private ownership for some 55 years, one of the earliest and most significant paintings by internationally acclaimed artist the late John Bellany CBE, will go on permanent public display as part of the Scottish Maritime Museum’s new national art collection, it was announced today (Friday 28 September).