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.

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 research 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 open to the general public. The Research Library covers the period from 1300 to 1900 and holds approximately 50,000 volumes of books, journals, slides, and microfiches, as well as some archival material relating to the collections, exhibitions and history of the National Gallery. It is advisable to contact the Print Room or Research Library prior to visiting to ensure staff and space availability.

The Weston Link, an underground interconnection between the two buildings and the final phase of the Playfair Project, 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:

  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo and Design for a Papal Monument
  • Sandro Botticelli, Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child
  • Antonio Canova, The Three Graces (displayed on rotation with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London)
  • Paul Cézanne, The Big Trees and Montagne Sainte-Victoire
  • Jean Siméon Chardin, Vase of Flowers
  • John Constable, Dedham Vale
  • Gerard David, Three Legends of St Nicholas
  • Edgar Degas, Portrait of Diego Martelli
  • James Drummond, The Porteous Mob and A Lady Descending from a Sedan Chair. Study for the Painting The Porteous Mob
  • Antoon van Dyck, The Lomellini Family
  • Thomas Gainsborough, The Hon. Mrs Graham'
  • Paul Gauguin, Vision after the Sermon
  • Hugo van der Goes, The Trinity Altarpiece (on loan from the Royal Collection)
  • Francisco de Goya, El Medico
  • El Greco, Saint Jerome in Penitence
  • El Greco, Fábula
  • El Greco, Christ Blessing (The Saviour of the World)
  • Gavin Hamilton, Dawkins and Wood Discovering the Ruins of Palmyra
  • Dominique Ingres, Mlle Albertine Hayard
  • Claude Monet, Haystacks
  • Nicolas Poussin, The Seven Sacraments
  • Sir Henry Raeburn, The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch
  • Allan Ramsay, Margaret Lindsay
  • Raphael, Bridgewater Madonna
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, A Woman in Bed and Self-Portrait
  • Sir Joshua Reynolds, The Ladies Waldegrave
  • Pieter Jansz Saenredam, San Bavo, Haarlem
  • Georges Seurat, La Luzerne, St-Denis
  • Titian, Venus Anadyomene, Diana and Callisto, Diana and Actaeon, The Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist and an Unidentified Saint, and The Three Ages of Man
  • Joseph Mallord William Turner, Somer Hill and the Vaughan Bequest of 38 works
  • Diego Velázquez, An Old Woman Cooking Eggs
  • Johannes Vermeer, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary
  • Antoine Watteau, Fêtes venetiènnes

Other artists represented in the collection include:

  • David Allan
  • Francis Bacon
  • Federico Barocci
  • William Blake
  • David Young Cameron
  • Gustave Courbet
  • Aelbert Cuyp
  • Eugène Delacroix
  • Domenichino
  • Albrecht Dürer
  • William Dyce
  • Adam Elsheimer
  • John Emms
  • Andrew Geddes
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Guercino
  • James Guthrie
  • Frans Hals
  • Meindert Hobbema
  • Hans Holbein the Younger
  • Edward Atkinson Hornel
  • Robert Scott Lauder
  • Horatio McCulloch
  • William York Macgregor
  • William MacTaggart
  • Lorenzo Monaco
  • Berthe Morisot
  • John Phillip
  • Giovanni Battista Piranesi
  • Camille Pissarro
  • David Roberts
  • Peter Paul Rubens
  • William Strang
  • Tintoretto
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Sir David Wilkie
  • Francisco de Zurbarán

Building Activity

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