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Vettriano 1, proper painters 0: Jack becomes most viewed artist at Kelvingrove

A retrospective of Jack Vettriano's work has become the most visited art exhibition at one of Scotland's leading museums.

More than 123,300 people have been to see the show at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow since the display opened on September 21 last year.

It has beaten the previous record held by the Glasgow Boys exhibition, which drew 123,289 visitors between April 9 and September 27 2010.

The Jack Vettriano exhibition has drawn around 5,500 visitors a week throughout its 23-week run and will remain open until 8pm each night, apart from Thursday, until it finishes on February 23.

Vettriano said: "I was astonished and very flattered to find out that my Retrospective exhibition has received a record-breaking number of visitors.

"From the very outset, I have been treated with enormous warmth and appreciation by the management and staff of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and I am deeply touched to hear that their enthusiasm has been echoed by so many of the visitors to my exhibition, during its five-month run.

"I am also hugely indebted to the collectors of my work, who so generously loaned their paintings for this Retrospective. Exhibiting in such majestic surroundings as Kelvingrove has been a great honour."

Actor Jack Nicholson and football legend Sir Alex Ferguson are among the owners of Vettriano's work, and the retrospective exhibition displays work loaned from private collections around the world.

It includes key paintings such as The Singing Butler, Mad Dogs, Long Time Gone, Bluebird at Bonneville and The Billy Boys.

The 61-year-old self-taught artist, who was born in St Andrews, Fife, did not take up painting full-time until the age of 40.

His work has since featured in exhibitions in Edinburgh, London and New York, and he was made an OBE in 2003.

One of his most famous paintings, The Singing Butler, sold for £744,000 in 2004 and is one of the best-selling posters in Britain.

Councillor Archie Graham, chair of Glasgow Life, which operates the museum, said: "From the beginning we knew the Jack Vettriano Retrospective was going to be popular. The response has been nothing short of phenomenal and confirms the public's affection for the artist and his works.

"We were delighted to have the opportunity to host this exhibition and to bring together the biggest collection of Jack's works ever seen. Given the popularity of the show, we're extending the opening hours at Kelvingrove to allow as many people as possible to see the exhibition before it closes."

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