Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Edinburgh’s Scottish National Portrait Gallery is situated on Queen Street, close to the National Museum of Scotland and to Edinburgh Castle. The Portrait Gallery itself is an Arts and Crafts work of art being described on its website as “a great red sandstone neo-gothic palace which sits proudly on the city’s skyline”. The building was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson to become a shrine to the heroes and heroines of Scotland and, in 1889, was the first ever purpose built portrait gallery to be opened.

Not only are vitally important historical figures such as Robert Burns, Prince Charles Edward Stuart and Mary, Queen of Scots represented in portrait form, but also more recent Scottish heroes from the arts, sport and science.

In addition, the Gallery runs workshops in various art forms (easel sketching, drawing, working with different materials, relief printing etc) and hosts concerts, talks and many other events, most held within this incredible building.

The grand galleries and intimate rooms of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery do have regular and changing exhibits and contents. New facilities include the Photography Gallery, the Touchscreen Gallery and the Victorian Library. Admission is generally free of charge, but some of the special exhibitions and events may charge for attendance.

First World War Commemoration

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has recently been involved in Putting Art on the Map – a collaboration between the Imperial War Museums, the University of Edinburgh and Historypin. Historian, artists and art historians were encouraged to participate in sifting through the Gallery’s existing First World War related exhibits to further research their many mysteries.

Scheduled for 5th July to 4th August 2014, an exhibition entitled Remembering the Great War will mark the outbreak of the First World War, exhibiting portraits of those who were involved, both famous and not-so-famous.

Much of what will be exhibited is largely already displayed or collected within the National Galleries of Scotland, and the final event promises to include many famous figures such as Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, Dr Elsie Ingles who travelled to Serbia with a team of Scottish nurses, and James Keir Hardie who opposed Britain’s involvement in the war. Other lesser known figures include artists who were wounded in action, civil and political figures, entertainers of troops at the Front, and many more. All of which will bring home the realities of war and the contribution of the Scottish people to it.

Where to stay in Edinburgh

We are delighted to be able to offer visitors to Edinburgh a huge number of hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts and more, from which to base their stay. Whether viewing museums and galleries, or taking in the shops, whether you’re keen to stay in the busy hub of the capital, or prefer to stay a little further out in one of our self-catering cottages, you can be sure to find somewhere perfect to stay for your Edinburgh trip in our listings below.