John Ronald Craigie Aitchison CBE RSA RA (13 January 1926 – 21 December 2009) was a Scottish painter. Although Scottish by birth, Aitchison moved to London in 1963, and thereafter divided his time between his terraced house in Lambeth and a second home in Italy, outside Siena. He painted still-life subjects, religious pictures, portraits and nudes, landscapes and his dogs. His preferred models tended to be West Indian or African because he loved the way other colours looked next to warm skin tones.
He was best known for his many paintings of the Crucifixion, one of which hangs behind the altar in the chapter house of Liverpool Cathedral, Italian landscapes, and portraits (mainly of black men, or of dogs). His simple style with bright, childlike colours defied description, and was compared to the Scottish Colourists, primitivists or naive artists, although Brian Sewell dismissed him as “a painter of too considered trifles”.
His career-long fascination with the crucifixion was triggered by a visit to see Salvador Dalí’s Christ of St John of the Cross in 1951 after it was acquired by the Kelvingrove Gallery.