Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Monty laughs off Vettriano snub

Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie said he had never heard of Vettriano

Golfer Colin Montgomerie has laughed off artist Jack Vettriano's claims he refused a commission to paint him because of the sportsman's looks.

The Fife painter reportedly said he was asked to produce the work for the National Galleries of Scotland, but said: "I don't do men with breasts."

He has often complained his work is not appreciated by the art establishment.

Gallery officials said a suggestion was made for a portrait but denied they had formally approached Vettriano.

The painter told art lovers at An Audience With Jack Vettriano in Kirkcaldy, Fife, earlier this week that his art dealer approached him about the offer.

According to a report in the Scotsman, the 56-year-old, said: "I was in France when I got a call from my art dealer who said there might have been a breakthrough. 'The National Galleries would like you to do a portrait'.

When told it was Colin Montgomerie, he said: "I'm afraid that the answer is no. I don't do men with breasts. And I don't mean that as unkind to Colin Montgomerie."

During an appearance at the Adam Smith College on Monday night, Vettriano said he did not give it a second thought, despite pleas from his dealer to reconsider.

Jack Vettriano
Jack Vettriano wants the art establishment to appreciate his work

Glasgow-born Montgomerie, known by his nickname of "Monty", has won 41 tournament victories around the world.

Montgomerie's manager Guy Kinnings hit back at the comments and revealed the golfer had never heard of Vettriano.

He said: "Colin himself just laughed about it. He doesn't know who the guy is but he was surprised by what he said.

"He does tend to laugh about these kind of things. He is more interested in focusing on his golf."

In 2007, the 45-year-old won Scotland's first World Cup alongside Marc Warren.

Vettriano, originally from Fife, is well-liked by the public but has felt shunned by the art world.

Owners of his work include Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and actor Jack Nicholson.

His best known painting, The Singing Butler, was sold at auction for almost 750,000.

Vettriano left school at the age of 16 and went to work as a mining engineer.

A girlfriend gave him a set of watercolour paintings for his 21st birthday, and he taught himself to paint.

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