National Gallery of Scotland

The National Gallery of Scotland, in Edinburgh, is the national art gallery of Scotland. An elaborate neoclassical edifice, it stands on The Mound, between the two sections of Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens. The building, which was designed by William Henry Playfair, first opened to the public in 1859.

The National Gallery shares the Mound with the Royal Scottish Academy Building. In 1912 both were remodelled by William Thomas Oldrieve. When it re-opened, the gallery concentrated on building its permanent collection of Scottish and European art for the nation.

The archive and study facilities at the National Gallery include the Prints and Drawings Collection of over 30,000 works on paper, from the early Renaissance to the late nineteenth century; and the reference-only research library, which is available to the general public. The library covers the period from 1300 to 1900 and holds approximately 50,000 volumes of books, journals, slides, photographs and microfiches, as well as archived material relating to the collections, exhibitions and history of the National Gallery.

The Weston Link, an underground interconnection between the two buildings and the final phase of the Playfair Project, opened August 2004. This contains a lecture theatre, education area, shop, restaurant and an interactive, touch-screen IT Gallery showing the collections of the National Galleries. Between the two buildings is a modern square, affording views of Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street.


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
  • 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
  • Antoon van Dyck, The Lomellini Family
  • Thomas Gainsborough, The Hon. Mrs Graham'
  • Paul Gauguin, The 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, '
  • El Greco, '
  • 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, Jan Christ in the House of Mary and Martha
  • Antoine Watteau, Fêtes venetiènnes

Other artists represented in the collection include:

  • David Allan
  • Francis Bacon
  • Federico Barocci
  • William Blake
  • David Young Cameron
  • Gustave Courbet
  • Aelbert Cuyp
  • Eugène Delacroix
  • Domenichino
  • Albrecht Dürer
  • William Dyce
  • Adam Elsheimer
  • Andrew Geddes
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Guercino
  • James Guthrie
  • Frans Hals
  • Meindert Hobbema
  • Hans Holbein the Younger
  • Edward Atkinson Hornel
  • Robert Scott Lauder
  • Horatio McCulloch
  • William York Macgregor
  • William MacTaggart
  • Lorenzo Monaco
  • Berthe Morisot
  • John Phillip
  • Giovanni Battista Piranesi
  • Camille Pissarro
  • David Roberts
  • Peter Paul Rubens
  • William Strang
  • Tintoretto
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Sir David Wilkie
  • Francisco de Zurbarán



See also

  • National Galleries of Scotland

External links


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Francesco de Virgilio
26 January 2015
Wonderful collection, tons of Italian Renaissance paintings. Don't miss Leonardo da Vinci and try to get the small tables near the window at the café at the gardens level, the park view is relaxing.
Bijan Young
18 February 2016
Good selection of non Scottish and great Scottish works. Intimate and lively way to spend a couple of hours. Staff a little past sell by date.
Matteo Quetti
21 March 2016
Nice museum with beautiful paintings, especially from Italian Renaissance. Well built also the Scottish's Art collection: don't miss it!
Evren Avseren
7 May 2019
i wish there were more Scottish art rather than Italian and Dutch, but still worth checking out. The painting of building of Royal Instution in New Town, and portrait of Walter Scott were lovely!
21 August 2013
Can take photos except of certain paintings. These are indicated by a symbol on their information plaque - a camera with a cross through it. Usually paintings that are on loan from other galleries.
Catherine Goulet
1 May 2017
Nice central location. Enjoy a stroll in the park afterwards.
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