Painter and printmaker Craigie Aitchison was born in 1926 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He moved to London to study law at the Middle Temple, but quickly developed an interest in painting. He attended the Slade School from 1952 to 1954. In 1954 Aitchison participated in “Six Young Contemporaries” at Gimpel Fils. In 1955 he was awarded a British Council Scholarship to study in Italy where the quality of the light and landscape profoundly affected his work as did early Italian art with its simplified depiction of events. Upon returning to London, Aitchison developed a style of abbreviated forms and strong pastel colors which he continued to use throughout his career. His first one-man show was at the Beaux Arts Gallery in 1959. He was given two more one-man shows by Beaux Arts in 1960 and 1964. In 1970 he won the Edwin Austin Abbey Premier Scholarship and in 1974 he won the third prize at the 9th John Moore Exhibition. Aitchison was elected as a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1988 and appointed CBE in 1999. His poetic, luminous and delicately painted canvases are often on religious themes, but include portraits, landscapes and animals. His paintings are never signed on the front so as not to upset the austere balance of the composition. He has also produced an important series of crucifixions and nativities. Aitchison made his first silkscreen with Advanced Graphics London in 1989 and they continued to be his main print publisher until his death, aged 83, in December 2009.