A Visit to the National Gallery

View of Old Town, with the National Gallery on the right.

Today after class I went to the National Gallery of Scotland.  It’s undergoing big-time renovation, so only a small amount of the collection was available for visitors to see.  Initially I was a little disappointed, because I was expecting to be blown away with breadth and volume, but then it occurred to me that it was kind of nice in its coziness.

This was my favorite picture, John Duncan’s Saint Bride (1913)

There were maybe 14 or so individual galleries to peruse, starting with Medieval religious icons, some Titians and Canallettos and other Italians, a great Vermeer of Martha, Mary, and Jesus (I should have taken a photo—apparently, it’s the only religious picture in his 36 surviving works), some Dutch masters including a very small Rembrandt, Scottish pieces (portraits and landscapes), and then upstairs were the Impressionists and a few early 1900s works.

Because the space was so confined, big walls bore a picture high up as well as eye-level and that was a little annoying, because it seemed a little cluttered, but of course they want to showcase as much art as possible in the few rooms they had to show it.  I went through the exhibits twice, although I lingered on the Impressionists out of habit more than any other reason.

Walter Scott Memorial close up (see human for scale)

Afterwards I walked to the Walter Scott Memorial, which is huge—200 feet tall at least.  It wasn’t open for visiting, but you couldn’t miss it.  It sits right at the edge of a park on Princes Street.  I’m amazed that I missed seeing it when I rode in on the tram from the airport last week—although I was so zonked out from traveling that I guess I wasn’t paying attention.

I’m not sure where I’ll head to next.  Maybe Edinburgh Castle.  Maybe Holyrood Castle.  Looking forward to the weekend to get in more sightseeing.  (Where do you think I should go next?)

Walter Scott Memorial from a distance

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