Wednesday, October 5, 2016

163. The Artist in Edinburgh

Continuing on with my brief Edinburgh visit - it was time to explore the national art collections ... and it's worth noting that the four National Galleries have free admission and allow photography - both of which are plusses in my book ...

So starting with the magnificent Scottish National Scottish Portrait Gallery - residing in Queen Street - of course ...

Built in the 1880's - this imposing Victorian building houses a visual history of Scotland from the 16th century through to the present day. And meandering through the three floors of marble busts, photographs and endless walls of paintings, is like reading a book on Scottish history - the stories are told through the portraits of the people who shaped it and were connected with it - from the royals and the rebels and the heroes and the villains to the poets and artists and philosophers to the business and civic leaders ...

Queen Anne - 1665-1714
by Willem Wissing

The imposing entrance foyer

And of course what enrapt me the most was the hall filled with my favourite medium - marble.

Arthur Wellesley - 1st Duke of Wellington - 1769-1852
by Sir John Steell
It was this famed ( Irishman - not Scot ) commander who led the forces 
that defeated Napolean Boneparte at the battle of Waterloo in 1815 ...

Thomas Constable - printer & publisher - 1812-1881
by William Brodie

David Bryce - architect - 1803-1876
by George MacCallum

Sir Walter Scott - writer & politician - 1771-1832
by Sir Francis Chantrey

Hugh Miller - intellectual - 1802-1856
by William Brodie 

Hugh Miller glaring at Queen Victoria - 1819-1901
by William Brodie

Robert Louis Stevenson - writer - 1850-1894
by David Stevenson

Robert Burns - poet & lyricist - 1759-1796

Rabbie Burns - the Bard of Ayshire - from aloft

Sir John Watson Gordon - painter - 1788-1864
by Patrick Park

Sir David Wilkie - painter - 1785-1841
by Samuel Joseph

David Octavius Hill - painter & photographer - 1802-1870
by Patrick Park
Lawrence MacDonald - sculptor - 1799-1871
by John Hutchison

I suppose I better show you some paintings ...

James VII - 1633-1701 by Sir Peter Lely

James V - 1512-1542 - unknown artist
Jame's second wife, Mary of Guise, was the mother 
of his only legitimate daughter, Mary, who, following
her father's death, became Mary Queen of Scots
at just six days old ...

... the famous aplenty ...

Sir John Baptiste de Medina - painter - 1659-1710
self portrait

... walls dripping with history ...

Prince Henry Benedict Stuart - Duke of York - 1725-1807
by Jean-Etienne Liotard

Each artwork was an interesting read 
and the afternoon slipped by very fast ...
James Watt and the Steam Engine: The Dawn of the 19th Century
by James Eckford Lauder 1855

Robert Cunningham Graham of Gartmore
poet & politician - 1735-1797
by Sir Henry Raeburn
Carolina Oliphant and son William
by Sir John Watson Gordon 1818

Sir Walter Scott - writer - 1771-1832 
by Sir Henry Raeburn

Isabella Smith - 1755-1855
" ...mother of 5 children - who lived to the age of 100 ..."
by James Graham Gilbert

... a great spot for a nanna nap after absorbing all this history ...

and the final word from ...

James Maitland Earl of Lauderdale ( and friends ) - 1759-1839
by Joseph Nollekens

After visiting the magnificent Portrait Gallery, I'm sorry to say that the other National Galleries in Edinburgh left me wanting. Interesting to visit in their own way, but lacked charm and the exhibitions failed to satisfy my senses.

Scottish National Gallery
Home to the National collection of fine art ...
 ... works span from Early Renaissance to early 19th century

 ... including masterpieces by Raphael, El Greco and Rubens

... to van Gogh, Monet and Degas ...

Royal Scottish Academy

Edinburgh also boasts two Galleries of Modern Art - both are housed in imposing Victorian Mansions set in rambling parklands across the road from each other ...

Modern Art Gallery 1
 Master of the Universe - 1989 
by Eduardo Paolozzi 

  Modern Art Gallery 2

and I'll let Henry Moore have the final say ...

 Reclining Figure #2 1960
and Reclining Figure 1951

... And with the next post I'll finish up my art experience in Edinburgh with a visit to a fabulous wee exhibition at the bonnie Printmakers Gallery ... hope you'll join me ...