THE important thing about The Singing Butler is that Vettriano responded to his environment, which was the coast of Fife.
It was not a golf course, Manhattan or the beaches of Los Angeles. It was a wind-swept Scottish coastline.
The image he fell in love with was the imagery of Hollywood, and he transmitted that idea to Scotland.
It touched the hearts and imagination of many people who shared his longing to be where the sun was shining and where they could live an elegant life.
It is a sweet and adorable image of an impossible event. It dispels the image of Scotland as a place where you can’t have singing butlers on the beaches, it is an attack on the negativity of “anti-joy”.
It is totally right that Vettriano is one of the main stars of this exhibition. If he’d only ever painted one painting in his life, this would be the one which conjured up the image of a better future for people in Scotland.
He has given the people and the art world something entirely legitimate.
I think Jack Vettriano has Italian blood, and for me it is an image of something wider than Scotland.
It is very interesting that the general public have decided that with The Singing Butler they wanted to share his dream of there being something better than being born and raised in a mining community on the shores of the Firth of Forth.
I would like to heartily congratulate the organisers of this exhibition for such an inspirational idea of contacting and enlisting private collectors.
Very few artists strike a note like this with a painting.
During these harsh economic times this is an excellent idea, and something which all major cities and towns, such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee, could copy.
But, thank God ,the exhibition is not restricted to Scottish art, because the language of art is international.