Scottish National Gallery

To the surprise of many, until recently I still had not visited the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh. I have walked past it, noted it, and always without fail told myself “next time I am in town I really should stop in.” Well I finally did so last week and coerced a friend to come along with me.

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Lady in Grey

I am no art expert, and must admit my art history knowledge is somewhat lacking. However, I did appreciate the varied collection on display. Covering an expansive period from 1338 to 1913, there is likely something for everyone. I was surprised to see several paintings from one of my favorite Dutch painters Rembrandt including one of his self-portraits. Since I am more of an enthusiast than a critic, I thought I would share with you my favorite painting, and my friend’s favorite painting from our visit to the gallery. They even happened to have been side by side on the same wall!

My favorite that I tweeted about after my visit was called Lady in Grey (1859) by Sir Daniel Macnee of his daughter. She is so simply beautiful. I love how delicate her hands are as she holds a needle and thread, with the spool dropping to the floor landing in the folds of her dress. She has such a candid face, and the painting really does strike me as a moment in time captured.

My friend’s favorite was Wandering Shadows (1878) by Peter Graham. Graham specialized in dramatic highland landscapes, as can be seen in this painting with the beautiful effect of the light and clouds on the rolling mountains. There is also one particularly cute sheep that can be seen upon closer examination!

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Wandering Shadows

I enjoyed my visit to the gallery. The visit could not have been more than an hour at a leisurely pace, and its location off of Princess Street made it easy to stop in on my way around town. It was quiet, but still conducive for conversation. The brightly colored walls complimented the paintings, and helped to visually illustrate the transitions between spaces and different periods and styles of the art.The interpretive panels easily spotted at the entrance to each new space were informative and concise, allowing a novice such as myself to better understand the essentials. Next time you are in Edinburgh, I encourage you to stop in!


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