Craigie Aitchison, born John Ronald Craigie Aitchison, was a Scottish painter. He came to painting only after studying prestigiously for a career in the Law, however. From a family of lawyers and ministers, he took his degree at Edinburgh University in 1944 and then moved into London’s Middle Temple in 1948. It wasn’t until 1952 that he decided to make the dramatic change to the world of art by enrolling on a degree at The Slade School of Fine Art. Here he studied with friend and fellow artist Euan Uglow. Following his graduation, he was awarded the British Council Italian government scholarship for painting and, like many British artists before him, travelled to Italy. The southern light and religious art of the country had a profound influence on Aitchison’s work. His pictures are often characterised by their combination of excessively sparse composition and bold, pure colour. He is particularly well known for his depictions of the crucifixion. One of his more well-known crucifixions hangs in Liverpool’s Red Cathedral. Aitchison first became fascinated by this subject in 1951, when he saw Dalí’s Christ of St John of the Cross at the Kelingrove Gallery. His religious scenes are not of an ecclesiastical discipline, but do have a timeless, poetic and mysterious atmosphere reminiscent of 15th-century miniatures. His work also comprises of landscapes, which are often illuminated by this same mystical atmosphere, and portraits, filled with childlike colour and personality. His work often includes the Bedlington Terriers he owned and loved. In 1978 Aitchison was elected an Associate Member and in 1988, a Member, of the Royal Academy of Arts, London. In 1999 he received a CBE. Several of his works are held in the Tate Collection.