National Gallery of Scotland
History, Collection Highlights, Opening Hours, Contact Details.



National Gallery of Scotland.

National Gallery of Scotland (Edinburgh)

Contents

Introduction
Origins, History, Acquisitions
National Gallery of Scotland: Collection Highlights
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: Collection Highlights
Scottish National Portrait Gallery: Collection Highlights
Research Facilities
Opening Hours
Contact Details


BRITAIN
National Gallery London
British Museum
Tate Gallery
Courtauld Gallery
British Royal Art Collection
Saatchi Gallery
Victoria & Albert Museum
IRELAND
Irish Art Galleries

ART GALLERIES IN USA
Best Art Museums in America.

BEST EUROPEAN GALLERIES
See: Art Museums in Europe.

APPRECIATING PAINTING
Before visiting the
National Gallery of Scotland, see:
Art Evaluation: How to Appreciate Art.

LATEST EXHIBITIONS
For news of any major art shows at
the National Gallery of Scotland, see:
Art News Headlines.

Introduction

One of the best art museums in the world, The National Gallery of Scotland, located on The Mound in central Edinburgh, is part of the National Galleries of Scotland, the country's main visual art resource, which comprises three museums, all in Edinburgh: the NGS, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Opened to the public in 1859, the NGS houses the Scottish national collection of fine art, including local and international art from the start of Renaissance art up to Post-Impressionism. Later works (1900-present) are in the collection of the Gallery of Modern Art. Highlights of the NGS permanent collection include The Trinity Altarpiece (1478) by Hugo van der Goes; An Old Woman Cooking Eggs (1618) by Diego Velazquez; Reverend Robert Walker: Skating on Duddingston Loch (1795) by Henry Raeburn; Distraining for Rent (1815) by David Wilkie; The Vale of Dedham (1828) by John Constable; Vision of the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel) (1888) by Paul Gauguin; Poplars on the Epte (1891) by Claude Monet; and A Hind's Daughter (1883) by James Guthrie, one of the leaders of the Glasgow School of Painting (1880-1900). Highlights of the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art's collection include works by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Piet Mondrian, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.

 

Origins, History, Acquisitions

Scotland's national art collection originated in the workings of the Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland, established in 1819, which started acquiring paintings and other works of art, which from 1828 onwards were kept at the Royal Institution building on The Mound. In 1826, an offshoot of the Royal Institution - called the Scottish Academy - was founded by a group of artists, determined to create a Scottish national body of painters and sculptors, capable of holding its own annual exhibition and acquiring a national collection of art. In 1838, with Royal consent, it became the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), and two years later the eminent architect William Henry Playfair was commissioned to design its new home, also on The Mound. Construction began in 1850 and the building opened in 1859. One half of the building contained the exhibition galleries of the RSA itself; the other housed the new National Gallery of Scotland formed from the previously assembled art collection of the Royal Institution.

Note: for other famous arts academies in Britain and Ireland, see: Royal Academy (RA, London), as well as Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA, Dublin) and Royal Ulster Academy of Arts (RUA, Belfast).

In 1882, due to the growth of the national collection, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery was founded, and housed in a Gothic revival building, designed by Robert Rowand Anderson, where it opened to the public in 1889. The total cost of £50,000 was met by the Scottish newspaper tycoon John Ritchie Findlay. In 1912, the RSA relocated to the original Royal Institution building, today known as the Royal Scottish Academy Building. At the same time the National Gallery Building was refurbished by the architect and designer William Thomas Oldrieve. Meantime, the RSA continued to make acquisitions of artworks for the national collection. In 1945, as result of war damage to its home in London, the priceless painting collection owned by Duke of Sutherland - featuring two Raphaels, five Titians, and a Rembrandt, was loaned to the National Gallery of Scotland.

In 1959, the national collection was divided once again. This time, all works of modern art, created after 1900 (including paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings), were given to the newly established Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, which opened at Inverleith House in Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden. In 1972, an upper floor was added to the National Gallery. This allowed the formation of several new small galleries at the south end of the building, which housed the Maitland collection of modernist French painting, including works by Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. In 1978, new basement galleries were created to house the Scottish Collection and to house a Print Room, library and Picture archive. In 1984, the growth of its collection caused the Gallery of Modern Art to relocate to its current home, near the Water of Leith, built in 1828 by William Burn, while in 1999 the Dean Gallery (now Modern Two) was opened in a former orphanage opposite, to accomodate a large collection of sculpture donated to the museum by the Edinburgh-born sculptor Sir Eduardo Paolozzi.

In 2003, a program of renovation carried out on the Royal Scottish Academy Building, now owned by the National Galleries of Scotland, was finished, transforming the structure into one of Europe's top exhibition venues. Further works saw the construction of an underground link between the Gallery and the Academy Building. The new space, designed by John Miller and Partners, provides numerous state-of-the-art facilities, including a lecture theatre/cinema, education area, restaurant and an interactive gallery. During the period 2009-2011, a series of improvements were carried out to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery which reopened in December 2011.

 

 

National Gallery of Scotland: Collection Highlights

The National Gallery of Scotland's collection features works by many of the finest European Old Masters, as well as Scottish artists like the Glasgow School of Painting (1880-1900). Highlights of the collection include:

• The Trinity Altarpiece (1478) by Hugo van der Goes.
• Studies of a Dog's Paw (1490) by Leonardo da Vinci.
• The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child (1490) by Botticelli.
• The Virgin and Child ("The Bridgewater Madonna") (1507) by Raphael.
• An Old Woman Cooking Eggs (1618) by Diego Velazquez.
• The Feast of Herod (1633) by Peter Paul Rubens.
• The Sacrament of Extreme Unction (1644) by Nicolas Poussin.
• Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (1654-55) by Jan Vermeer.
• Self-Portrait, aged 51 (1657) by Rembrandt.
• Fetes Venitiennes (1715) by Jean-Antoine Watteau.
• A Vase of Flowers (1750) by Jean-Simeon Chardin.
• Portrait of David Hume (1766) by Allan Ramsay.
• The Honourable Mrs Graham (1775) by Thomas Gainsborough.
• Rev Robert Walker: Skating on Duddingston Loch (1795) by Henry Raeburn.
• Distraining for Rent (1815) by David Wilkie.
• The Three Graces (1815) (sculpture) by Antonio Canova.
• The Vale of Dedham (1828) by John Constable.
• The Piazzetta, Venice (1835) by JMW Turner.
• Diego Martelli (1879) by Edgar Degas.
• Seated Nude: Study for "Une Baignade" (1883) by Georges Seurat.
• A Hind's Daughter (1883) by James Guthrie.
• The Vision After the Sermon (1888) by Paul Gauguin.
• Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1892) by John Singer Sargent.

Other leading Old Masters represented, include: Hans Holbein the Younger, Albrecht Durer, Adam Elsheimer, El Greco, Zurbaran, Frans Hals, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Joshua Reynolds, Goya. Top 19th century painters in the collection include: Eugene Delacroix, Gustave Courbet, Camille Pissarro, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: Collection Highlights

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art's collection features works by many of the best 20th century painters, as well as local artists like the Scottish Colourists (c.1900-14). It is particularly strong on Dada (fl.1916-23) and Surrealism (fl.1923-40). Highlights of the collection include:

• The Candlestick (1900) by Edouard Vuillard.
• Collioure (19050 by Andre Derain.
• Japanese Theatre (1909) by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
• Guitar, Gas-jet and Bottle (1913) by Pablo Picasso.
• Girl Born without a Mother (1916) by Francis Picabia.
• The Painting Lesson (1919) by Henri Matisse.
• Ghost of a Genius (1922) by Paul Klee.
• Maternity (1924) by Joan Miro.
• Woman with her Throat Cut (1932) (sculpture) by Giacometti.
• Nude Girl on a Fur (1932) by Otto Dix.
• Representation (1937) by Rene Magritte.
• Weeping Woman (1937) by Pablo Picasso.
• Reclining Figure (1951) (sculpture) by Henry Moore.
• In the Car (1963) by Roy Lichtenstein.
• Tourists (1970) (sculpture) by Duane Hanson.
• Figure with Raised Arm (1982) by Georg Baselitz.
• Two Men (1987) by Lucian Freud.
• Study for a Portrait March 1991 (1991) by Francis Bacon.
• Vulcan (1998) (sculpture) by Eduardo Paolozzi.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery: Collection Highlights

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery's collection of portrait art contains over 3,000 paintings and sculptures, 25,000 prints and drawings, and 38,000 photographs. Painters represented include most of the best portrait artists of Scotland. Highlights of the collection include:

• James VI and I, King of England and Ireland (1609) by Nicholas Hilliard.
• Daughters of Charles I (1637) by Anthony van Dyck.
• Flora Macdonald. Jacobite heroine (1747) by Richard Wilson.
• Sir James Macdonald & Sir Alexander Macdonald (1749) by William Mosman.
• Robert Burns. Poet (1787) by Alexander Nasmyth.
• Niel Gow. Violinist (1787) by Sir Henry Raeburn.
• Sir Walter Scott. Novelist (1822) by Sir Henry Raeburn.
• Robert Louis Stevenson. Novelist (1892) by Count Girolamo Nerli.
• Sir James Matthew Barrie. Author (1904) by Sir William Nicholson.
• Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Architect (1914) by Francis Henry Newbery.
• Walter Rankin (1940) by Sir William Oliphant Hutchison.
• Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (1983) by Avigdor Arikha.
• Robbie Coltrane. Actor (1988) by John Byrne.
• Jean Muir. Fashion designer (1991) by Glenys Barton.
• Sir Alex Ferguson. Football manager (1996) by David Mach.
• Jimmy Reid. Trade Unionist (1999) by Kenny Hunter.

The Portrait Gallery also displays the photographs of Glasgow taken by Thomas Annan, notably the pictures of slums taken in 1868–71, and other genre scenes showing the everyday life of ordinary people.

Research Facilities

Research facilities at the National Gallery of Scotland feature the Prints and Drawings Collection (30,000 works on paper), from the Early Renaissance (c.1400) to the era of Impressionism (1870s/80s); and the Reference Library, which spans the period from the start of the Proto-Renaissance (1300) to 20th century Fauvism (c.1905) and contains roughly 50,000 resources (including books, journals, slides, and microfiches), plus some archival material relating to the permanent collections and history of the National Gallery.

Opening Hours

Scottish National Gallery
Open daily, 10am-5pm (6pm for August only). Thursdays until 7pm.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Open daily, 10am-5pm. (6pm for August only)

Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Open daily, 10am-5pm (6pm for August only). Thursdays until 7pm.

Contact Details

For all enquiries regarding Gallery visits and services.

+44 (0)131 624 6200

• For more details about the world's finest art museums and galleries, see: Homepage.


Art Types
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ART
© visual-arts-cork.com. All rights reserved.