The Scottish National Gallery neoclassical building
Credit: National Galleries Scotland

Scottish National Gallery

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Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL

The Scottish National Gallery is Scotland’s national art gallery, located in Edinburgh city centre. The famous architect William Henry Playfair designed the stunning neoclassic building, which first opened to the public in 1859. The gallery houses the Scottish National Collection of fine art, which includes both Scottish and international art. Today it is made up of three interconnecting buildings. The main gallery on The Mound, the academy building in the middle of Princes Street and lastly, the gardens entrance, which connects the two together.

The Main Gallery

In the Scottish National Gallery’s main building you’ll find a comprehensive collection of fine art dating from the early Renaissance until the end of the nineteenth century. Including masterpieces from artists such as Raphael, El Greco, Velázquez, Rubens, Van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne, Degas and Gauguin. There is also an extensive selection charting the history of Scottish painting – artists include Ramsay, Raeburn, Wilkie and McTaggart. This permanent collection contains over 96,000 works.

The Academy Building

The academy building stands in front pf the main gallery and faces onto Princes Street. This building has been home to the Royal Scottish Academy since 1911. The National Galleries of Scotland restored and reopened it as a world-class exhibition venue in 2003. A special programme of temporary exhibitions is on here all year round.

The Gardens Entrance

You can access the gallery and academy buildings through the Princes Street Gardens entrance. This modern space has a restaurant, cafe, cloakroom, shop, IT gallery, lecture theatre and information desk.

Visit the Scottish National Gallery

The Scottish National Gallery is free to visit (donations accepted). It’s open daily, 10 am to 5 pm and Thursdays until 7 pm. Visit the National Galleries website for more information.