Heartbreak Publishing, which the Fife-born artist set up seven years ago, has ceased trading with immediate effect, he announced today.
The company, which Vettriano is the majority shareholder of, has been placed into voluntary liquidation, although the artist insisted that all of its creditors “will be paid.”
The company sold limited-edition prints, posters, canvas, cards and postcards by Vettriano and a number of other artists, photographers and designers.
Vettriano said: “This is purely a business decision and involves a return of the company’s assets to the shareholders.”
Born as Jack Hoggan in St Andrews, Vettriano, who famously taught himself to paint, was brought up in the seaside town of Methil, in Fife.
He left school at 16 to become an apprentice mining engineer and also had a spell as a bingo caller before taking up painting when a then girlfriend bought him a set of watercolours for his 21st birthday.
After teaching himself by copying Caravaggio and Monet, he sold his first original pieces in the late 1980s.
In 1989, he submitted two paintings to the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual exhibition; both were accepted and sold on the first day. Vettriano became a full-time artist within two years.
He has since staged major exhibitions around the world in Edinburgh, London, New York and Hong Kong, with Sir Jackie Stewart and Zara Phillips among the portraits he has been commissioned for, and Jack Nicholson, Sir Alex Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane among the best-known collectors of his work.
Although The Singing Butler, Vettriano’s most famous work, sold at auction to a private collector for £744.000 almost a decade ago, he was shunned for years by the arts establishment and did not get a major retrospective in Scotland until 2013, when Kelvingrove in Glasgow displayed more than 100 of his paintings.
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