Inside the National Gallery

Edinburgh: National Galleries

Paintings paintings everywhere; between the National Gallery and National Portrait gallery, only a short walk from one another, Edinburgh has a huge collection of fabulous artwork. The galleries are free admission and much quieter than some of the other attractions in the city. As someone commented, I forgot to mention the crowds at Edinburgh Castle, which could compete with the tourist attractions of London, at least at this time of year, it was swarming.

National Portrait Gallery: Entrance Hall

National Portrait Gallery: Entrance Hall

The galleries hold paintings and sculptures by artists from every era (well maybe not every era, but across a fair space of time) and from all over the world. Of course there is a focus on Scottish artists and subjects, but not limited to these only. The artworks are mostly traditional, real life representations of people and landscapes, not abstract modernism. A lot of religious themes, historical or mythological characters are among the subjects on display.

The entrance hall of the National Portrait Gallery is a work of art in itself. It extends across all three floors covered floor to ceiling in painted murals. Mans progress from stone age to 1800 is depicted on the balcony of the first floor, while the walls upstairs are covered by images representing historic and legendary stories. Even the ceiling is painted with the constellations. As impressive as the portraits were this was easily my favourite thing about the gallery.

Detail of frieze in the entrance hall of the National Portrait Gallery

Detail of frieze in the entrance hall of the National Portrait Gallery

Detail of frieze in the entrance hall of the National Portrait Gallery, showing the history of man in Scotland with key figures

Detail of frieze in the entrance hall of the National Portrait Gallery, showing the history of man in Scotland with key figures

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