One of many prettiest museums in Edinburgh must be the Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery. It’s a 19th-century neo-gothic museum that champions Scottish heroes via artwork.
Right here, you possibly can marvel at their Nice Corridor with the well-known frieze, take a look at their portraits showcasing essential chapters of Scottish historical past, and have lunch of their cosy Portrait Café
For me, this was a Darkish Academia dream and I couldn’t cease admiring the unimaginable structure and murals. You’ll be blown away by what’s in retailer for you.
What’s even higher is that this unimaginable place is totally FREE entry. So, what’s stopping you?
Here’s a customer information for the Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh with how you can go to, what to see, and my prime ideas!
Historical past of Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery
This unimaginable neo-gothic gallery was based in 1882 and opened to the general public in Edinburgh in 1889. It was the world’s first purpose-built portrait gallery.
It was the brainchild of Sir Robert Rowand Anderson who wished to create a shrine for Scotland’s heroes and heroines via artwork.
The chief proprietor of The Scotsman newspaper on the time, John Ritchie Findlay, championed the necessity for a museum of Scotland’s heroes.
He ended up discovering the constructing and funding the challenge because of the authorities’s lack of dedication.
Nearly all of the unique gallery within the 19th century was made up of the eccentric 11th Earl of Buchan’s personal assortment.
The red-sandstone neo-gothic constructing was additionally reconstructed to champion Scottish heroes. You’ll discover statues of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce standing guard.
Right this moment, there’s an eclectic mixture of portraits showcasing historic Scottish figures of the previous effectively as up to date names.
A Darkish Academia dream!
I all the time really feel like the whole metropolis of Edinburgh is like strolling via a Darkish Academia film with all of the historic buildings. It truthfully feels such as you’re residing in Hogwarts.
However, the Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery with its superb Nice Corridor is arms down one of many prettiest museums within the metropolis.
The whole constructing is a murals, inside and outside, and it took many artists to construct and pull the imaginative and prescient collectively.
In the event you haven’t thought-about visiting in your subsequent journey to Edinburgh, I might change that proper now!
What’s higher is that this Darkish Academia dream of a museum and gallery is totally FREE.
The Nice Corridor within the Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery
The Primary Corridor is essentially the most spectacular room situated within the centre of the portrait gallery and is crammed with lovely symbolism and element.
It was made to impress and encourage guests to the gallery and provides them a visible introduction to Scottish historical past.
You may discover the Nice Corridor from two flooring. On the underside ground, you’ll discover busts, stained glass home windows, ornate portraits, and statues.
Upstairs on the mezzanine ground, you possibly can admire much more vibrant fresco work of essential chapters in Scottish historical past amongst the grand archways.
In the event you search for you’ll see the celestial ceiling with constellations and gold stars! There are additionally lovely lanterns hanging by chains from the ceiling.
This room is severely a dream and I used to be blown away by it. I couldn’t cease admiring every element and taking photographs!
Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery frieze
There are 155 notable Scottish figures via historical past that function on the Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery frieze.
Each is positioned in chronological order in a timeline from the 19th century when the gallery was constructed, going all the best way again to pre-history.
You’ll discover Caledonia within the center, the image of Scotland, pulling again a curtain to disclose a starry sky that matches as much as the attractive celestial ceiling.
There are huge names like Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, and Bonnie Prince Charlie. Even characters representing the Roman period, Pictish historical past, Bronze Age and Stone Age.
It is vitally male-dominated and there have been in all probability many well-known and proficient Scottish ladies via time who might have been featured. Some characters who have been within the unique sketches have been later eliminated.
It was painted by William Brassey Gap who specialised in historic work. He even went on a examine tour to Italy and France to find out about fresco methods earlier than he painted it.
Gap painted the frieze in three phases and the entire figures are positioned on a background of rippled gold. It catches the sunshine (and the attention) completely at sure occasions of day and makes this frieze glitter!
Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery displays
Past the Nice Corridor, there are a lot of different rooms and displays to take a look at after you’ve completed admiring the frieze. It’s a massive gallery of Scottish portraits in any case!
Personally, I’m all the time extra of a fan of classical paintings and portraits than fashionable ones. I cherished seeing the portraits of Scottish royalty like James VI and I and Mary Queen of Scots.
However, there are usually not simply face portraits right here on the gallery. Additionally they had attention-grabbing work of historic chapters just like the execution of Charles I.
Additionally, there was a fantastic Jacobite exhibition that includes portraits of occasions with Bonnie Prince Charlie. As a fan of Outlander, I cherished seeing these.
In the event you’re a fan of Queen Victoria, you’ll discover an ornate show of her portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter that has plush velvet curtains! It was painted in 1840, three years after she took the throne.
There are such a lot of portraits to see right here that inform a narrative of Scotland’s huge historical past. They’re full of symbolism and have informative commentary.
It’s an effective way to find out about Scotland’s turbulent previous and you would truthfully spend hours admiring all of them.
In the event you have been on the lookout for a spot for lunch after your go to, the Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery cafe known as Café Portrait and is open day by day from 10 am to 4.30 pm.
It’s a lovely room the place you possibly can sip a espresso or attempt one in all their selfmade desserts in amongst a vibrant gallery.
You will discover additionally discover teas, chilly drinks, and a number of gentle lunches in case you wished one thing extra substantial.
In the event you wished to deal with your self to one thing particular, they do serve a day tea from 2.30 pm however pre-booking at the very least 24 hours upfront is crucial.
Easy methods to go to the Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery
The Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery is centrally situated in Edinburgh near St Andrew’s Sq. on Queen’s Road.
It is a five-minute stroll from the Scott Monument, Princes Road, and the Ross Fountain in Princes Road Gardens.
The simplest option to go to can be to stroll in Edinburgh as there’s restricted off-road parking close to the gallery.
In the event you’re taking public transport, the gallery is true subsequent to the Edinburgh bus station and a two-minute stroll from Edinburgh Waverley Station.
Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery deal with is 1 Queen Road, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD. Click here for a Google Pin!
Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery tickets and opening occasions
The Scottish Nationwide Portrait Gallery is a part of the Nationwide Galleries of Scotland group and is open day by day from 10 am – 5 pm.
Entry is totally free within the metropolis and also you don’t must pre-book your go to any longer to go. You may flip up anytime!
There are many issues to see and do right here past the Nice Corridor. There are lots of rooms and informative exhibitions to see so be sure to go away sufficient time.
My prime ideas for visiting
- Don’t combine this museum up with the Scottish Nationwide Gallery. Very comparable names however utterly completely different buildings! I really ended up right here first and needed to rush over to the portrait gallery – oops! The employees says this occurs on a regular basis although.
- I might e book your go to for opening time, or go to throughout a weekday to keep away from the crowds. As a free artwork museum, it does are inclined to get busy.
- I’d advocate spending round 1-2 hours right here to be sure you get to see the whole lot!
- Simply close by, you possibly can go to the unimaginable Scott Monument and the Ross Fountain in Princes Road Gardens.
Learn extra of my Edinburgh guides
Save the Nationwide Portrait Gallery Nice Corridor for later!