Designed by William Playfair (1790-1857) and finished in 1853, originally the building was meant to accommodate both the National Gallery and The Royal Scottish Academy, but is now given over entirely to the National Collection.
In the photograph left; foreground: The Royal Scottish Academy of Art, behind: The National Gallery of Scotland.
This must be one of the finest galleries in Britain, not only for its architectural style; severely classical with the plainness of the Doric order, but also from its very fine collection of pictures, furniture and sculpture. Here you will find important works by Tintoretto, Titian, Poussin, Claude Lorraine, Rembrandt, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Chardin, Antonio Canova and Turner, as well as French Impressionists, and Scottish artists.
Ground Floor, Main Galleries:
Foreground: "A Queen or Saint", limewood, Johann Schnegg, 1721-1770.
Center: "Diana and Acteon", Titian, 1473-1576.
Right: "Deposition of Christ", Jacopo Tintoretto, 1518-1594.
Gilt Table, 1730-1740, in the manner of Wm. Kent.
"The Seven Sacraments: Penance", 1647, Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665.
From a series "The Seven Sacraments" The Duke of Sutherland Collection on loan.
Others at the gallery in this series: "Extreme Unction", "Confirmation", "Baptism", "Ordination", "Eucharist", and "Marriage". All are scenes from the life of Christ.
"The Three Graces", marble, Antonio Canova, 1757-1822.
Below left: "The ladies Waldegrave", Joshua Reynolds,1723-1792.
Behind The Three Graces: "The Honourable Mrs Graham", Thomas Gainsborough, 1727-1788.
From the first floor: Early Italian Galleries.
"The School of Apollo", Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci, called Perugino, c. 1450-1523.
Perugino was Raphael's teacher.
"The Campbell Sisters", marble, Lorenzo Bartolini, 1771-1850.
Behind: "Alexander III of Scotland Rescued from a Stag by Colin FitzGerald".
(Colin FitzGerald was a refugee from Ireland who in recognition of this deed was given Kintail by Alexander III and founded the Clan MacKenzie).
From the first floor: 19th Century Galleries.
Three paintings by Eugène Gauguin , 1848-1903.
The National Gallery of Scotland is open all the year round, and is located just to the south of the middle of Princes Street