National Gallery of Scotland (Edinburgh)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
The Portrait Gallery also displays the photographs of Glasgow taken by Thomas Annan, notably the pictures of slums taken in 186871, and other genre scenes showing the everyday life of ordinary people.
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.
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
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