Andrew Vicari


Andrew Vicari (born 20 April 1938) in Port Talbot, of father Cavaliere Vittorio Vicari and mother Italia Bertaniis. He is a Welsh painter working in France who has established a career painting portraits of the rich and famous. Despite being largely unknown in his own country as of 2004 Vicari is Britain’s richest living painter.

Between 1951-53 Vicari studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art with Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud as teachers. On graduation, Vicari started working in London as a portrait painter. Eschewing modern trends, Vicari has remained a figurative artist working in oil. His work is widely appreciated in the Middle East, France and China, conversely he is largely ignored in Britain and America where his paintings are often seen as too saccharine.

In 1974 Vicari was appointed as the official painter to the King and Government of Saudi Arabia. In the following decades he painted many portraits of the Saudi royal family as well as scenes of Riyadh and Bedouin life. It is largely due to this patronage that Vicari owes his financial success. In 2001 he sold a collection of 125 paintings of the First Gulf War to Prince Khaled for £17 million.

Vicari currently lives and works at his studio outside Nice, France, although he also owns apartments in Riyadh and Monte Carlo whilst often spending periods of time living in major hotels.