National Gallery of Scotland

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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.[1]

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,[2] 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:

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