The National Gallery of Scotland's collection of works stretches from the Italian Renaissance through French Impressionism to ... More
The Scottish National Gallery
The National Gallery of Scotland's collection of works stretches from the Italian Renaissance through French Impressionism to more modern Scottish works of the 18th and 19th Centuries. The entire lower gallery is given over to the Scots. Other artists' work exhibited include Degas, Van Gogh and Rembrandt. The National Gallery is richly endowed with paintings, sculpture and furniture.
On Monday the 20th of august I flew to Edinburgh accompanied by two of my close friends (tom Richards and Taeya Sharrock.) During the day we looked around the city, went shopping and visited many different attractions that Edinburgh has to offer. Amongst these we spent some time visiting the national gallery which is the event that I have chosen to review.
The National Gallery of Scotland houses Scotland’s greatest collection of European paintings, drawings and prints dating from the early Renaissance to the late 19th century. The collection includes works by Raphael, Titian, Velázquez, Vermeer, El Greco, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens, Turner and the Impressionists. It also houses the national collection of Scottish art with works by Ramsay, Raeburn. Wilkie and McTaggart. The Gallery was designed by William Henry Playfair in the 1850s and has a striking neo-classical facade. It stands on the Mound, adjacent to the Royal Scottish Academy, with commanding views of Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle. The Gallery is open all the year round and originally the building was meant to accommodate both the National Gallery and The Royal Scottish Academy, but is now given over entirely to the National Collection
During our visit we first visited the European collection (which consisted of the upper levels and ground floor) and then the Scottish collection (located in the basement.)
The European collection consisted of Artworks from the early Renaissance to 1900. They were displayed hung up on the walls or on stands in the middle of the rooms. There were many rooms on the ground floor full of art each room with luxurious crimson walls and soft carpets. The collection also continued on the floor above with fewer rooms and less luxuriously decorated walls and floors. The art in these rooms was mostly depicted famous bible stories or myth and legends. Most images contained people and had a vast range of different colours making up the images. This was also reflected in the sculptures which were mostly of beautiful women or famous men. Over the years, this section of the Gallery has benefited from remarkable loans and gifts of works of art. On loan from Her Majesty the Queen is the Trinity Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes. In my opinion I enjoyed this area of the gallery very much as there was such a wide range of works and they were spaced out enough so that the gallery didn’t seem crowded and each work could be appreciated in its own right without being over shadowed by other pieces around it. There were plenty of comfortable chairs and lavishly decorate sofas throughout this section which made viewing the work a pleasure
The National Gallery is quite a study in contrasts.On the outside,a starchy classic revival style is evident while inside,a bold red-covered walls gallery in the round is waiting to be discovered.The museum's interior is arranged in such a circular fashion that it makes for easy and delightful viewing of the many masterpieces in the collections. The first floor houses some lesser works by British and American artists while the second floor has the Impressionists and world masters.
The lower level contains Scottish works,ie by Ramsay and Raeburn.Of note is the rather icy tho charming painting of a cleric "Skating on Duddington Loch",done in the manner of a Dutch winter scene.A personal favorite is a a huge oil done in pastel hues of tumbling Niagara Falls in NY. Decorative appointments and furnishings from rugs on the floor to bright red divans in select spaces also add to the drama for the gallery.The restrooms are also thoughtfully done and quite interesting in their nook-like setting.
The museum houses many styles of art thru the ages,both past and modern and the free admission makes it definitely affordable to tour.
I loved this place. I visit it everytime I am in Scotland. Some of the pictures just take your breath away, especially the one of Niagra Falls, if you're lucky to see it as they rotate the pictures or they're out on loan. The atmosphere is great and there is plenty of seating if you just want to sit and rest. A lot of art students visit the place to study the pictures and draw them.
Admission is free, but they also have exhibits which are extra for a small fee. The architecture of the building is great and artwork is hung from the ceiling to the floor. I would recommend this to anyone, even if you aren't an art buff. It's just amazing to see such timeless beauty.
Well, I had to wait outside for about 1/2 hour until Prince Charles was finished with his private tour of one of the Michaelangelo Madonna collection of the Duke of Buccleugh, but once inside it was worth the wait. Ecclectic collection of old and modern art by Scottish people. Some ancient pieces as well. I wanted to see more Macintosh, but apparently the bulk of that is in Glasgow.
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