Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

(1859-Present) Biography

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The Vale of Dedham
John Constable

320 USD

Martinique Landscape
Paul Gauguin

241 USD

The Holy Family with a Palm Tree

325 USD

Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw
John Singer Sargent

252 USD

Madame de Pompadour, 1758
François Boucher

264 USD

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The Scottish National Gallery is the national art gallery of Scotland. It is located on The Mound in central Edinburgh, in a neoclassical building designed by William Henry Playfair, and first opened to the public in 1859. The gallery houses the Scottish national collection of fine art, including Scottish and international art from the beginning of the Renaissance up to the start of the 20th century. 


The origins of Scotland's national collection lie with the Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland, founded in 1819. It began to acquire paintings, and in 1828 the Royal Institution building opened on The Mound. In 1826, the Scottish Academy was founded by a group of artists as an offshoot of the Royal Institution, and in 1838 it became the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA). A key aim of the RSA was the founding of a national collection. It began to build up a collection and from 1835 rented exhibition space within the Royal Institution building.

In the 1840s plans were put in place for a new building to house the RSA in a new building. William Henry Playfair was commissioned to prepare designs, and on 30 August 1850, Prince Albert laid the foundation stone. The building was originally divided along the middle, with the east half housing the exhibition galleries of the RSA, and the western half containing the new National Gallery, formed from the collection of the Royal Institution. In 1912 the RSA moved into the Royal Institution building, which remains known as the Royal Scottish Academy Building. At this time, internal remodelling was carried out by William Thomas Oldrieve. When it re-opened, the gallery concentrated on building its permanent collection of Scottish and European art for the nation of Scotland

Additional basement galleries were constructed in 1970. In the early 21st century, the Playfair Project saw the renovation of the Royal Scottish Academy Building and the construction of an underground connecting space between the Gallery and the Academy Building. Construction took five years and cost £32 million. The new underground space was opened as the Weston Link in August 2004. Designed by John Miller and Partners, the link, now known as the Gardens Entrance, provides a new access from Princes Street Gardens and contains a lecture theatre, education area, shop, restaurant and an interactive gallery.


At the heart of the National Gallery's collection is a group of paintings transferred from the Royal Scottish Academy Building. This includes masterpieces by Jacopo Bassano, Van Dyck and Giambattista Tiepolo. The National Gallery did not receive its own purchase grant until 1903.

Key works of art displayed at the National Gallery include:

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo and Design for a Papal Monument
Sandro Botticelli, Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child
Antonio Canova, The Three Graces (displayed on rotation with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London)
Paul Cézanne, The Big Trees and Montagne Sainte-Victoire
Giambattista Pittoni, St Jerome and Peter of Alcantara
Jean Siméon Chardin, Vase of Flowers
John Constable, Dedham Vale
Gerard David, Three Legends of St Nicholas
Edgar Degas, Portrait of Diego Martelli
James Drummond, The Porteous Mob and A Lady Descending from a Sedan Chair. Study for the Painting The Porteous Mob
Anthony van Dyck, The Lomellini Family
Thomas Gainsborough, The Hon. Mrs Graham'
Paul Gauguin, Vision after the Sermon
Hugo van der Goes, The Trinity Altarpiece (on loan from the Royal Collection)
Francisco de Goya, El Medico
El Greco, Saint Jerome in Penitence
El Greco, Fábula
El Greco, Christ Blessing (The Saviour of the World)
Gavin Hamilton, Dawkins and Wood Discovering the Ruins of Palmyra
Dominique Ingres, Mlle Albertine Hayard
Claude Monet, Haystacks
Nicolas Poussin, The Seven Sacraments
Sir Henry Raeburn, The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch
Allan Ramsay, Margaret Lindsay
Raphael, Bridgewater Madonna
Rembrandt van Rijn, A Woman in Bed and Self-Portrait
Sir Joshua Reynolds, The Ladies Waldegrave
Pieter Jansz Saenredam, San Bavo, Haarlem
Georges Seurat, La Luzerne, St-Denis
Titian, Venus Anadyomene, Diana and Callisto, Diana and Actaeon, The Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist and an Unidentified Saint, and The Three Ages of Man
Joseph Mallord William Turner, Somer Hill and the Vaughan Bequest of 38 works
Diego Velázquez, An Old Woman Cooking Eggs
Johannes Vermeer, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary
Antoine Watteau, Fêtes venetiènnes

Source: Wikipedia