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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


88 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH., [The Mound. THE NATIONAL GALLERY. CHAPTER XIII. THE MOUND (concluded). The Art Galleries-The National Gallery The Various Collections-The Royal Smttish Academy-Early Scottish Artists-The Institution- The First Exhibition in Edinburgh-Foundation of the Admy-Presidents: G. Wataon, Sir William Allan. Sir J. W. Godon, Si Gcorge Harvcy, Sir Daniel bfaatec-The Spalding Fund. THEIR objects being akin, the Royal Icstitution and Art Galleries stand in convenient proximity to each other. The formation of the latter was one of the results of the Report, referred to, by Sir John Shaw Lefevre on the constitution of the Board of Manufactures ; and subsequent negotiations with the Treasury led to the erection of the Galleries, the foundation stone of which was laid by the Prince Consort on the 30th of August, 1850, and they were opened in 1859. The Treasury furnished ;t;30,000, the Board ~oo,ooo, and the city a portion of the site at a nominal rate. By these arrangements the Scottish people have a noble National Gallery of great and increasing value, and the Royal Scottish Academy has also been provided with saloons for its annual exhibitions. Designed by W. H, Playfair, the Galleries are so situated that a railway tunnel crosses beneath their foundation and a lofty green bank overlooks the south end. They form a crucifom edifice, the main length of which lies north and south, with a broad and high transept intersecting the centre ; at the south and north ends, or fronts, are beautiful Ionic porticoes, and on each face of the transept is a handsome hexastyle Ionic portico. The eastern range is occupied by the Royal Scottish Academy?s Exhibition from February till May in each year, and the western range is permanently used as the National Gallery, containing a collection of paintings by old masters and modern artists and a few works of sculpture, among which, terminating the long vista of the saloons, is Flaxman?s fine statue of Robert Bums. The first of these contains specimens of the Flemish, Dutch, and French schools of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries ; the central or second saloon specimens of the Jtalian, Venetian, Genoese, Florentine, Flemish, and other schools of the same period; while the third room is devoted to examples of the Scottish school. The collections generally include some fine specimens of Vandyke, Titian, Tintoretto, Velasquez, Paul Veronese, Spagnoletto, Rembrandt, and others. There is also a noble series of portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence, Sir Henry Raeburn, George Watson (first President of the Academy), Sir John Watson Gordon, and Graham Gilbert. In one of the rooms set apart for modem works may be
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The Mound.] THE SCOTTISH GALLERY. 89 - seen Sir Noel Paton?s two wonderful pictures of Oberon and Titania; others by Erskine Nicol, Herdman, Faed, W. Fettes, Douglas, James Drummond, Sir George Harvey, Horatio Macculloch, R. S. Lauder, Roberts, Dyce, and Etty, from whose brush there are those colossal paintings of U Judith with the Head of Holofernes ?? and ?The Woman Interceding for the Vanquished.? Among the many fine paintings bequeathed to this Scottish Gallery is Gainsborough?s celebrated portrait of hfrs. Graham, depicting a proud and are outlined ; and the great and accurately detailed picture of the battle of Bannockburn. There is a small full-length picture of Bums, painted by Nasmyth, as a memento of the poet, and another by the same artist, presented by the poet?s son, Colonel W. Nicol Burns, and a fine portrait of Sir John Moore, the property of the officers of the Black Watch, The choice collection of water colours embraces some of the best works of I? Grecian ? Rilliams ; a series of drawings bequeathed to the Gallery INTERIOR OF THE NATIONAL GALLERY. beautiful girl, grief for whose death in early fife caused her husband, the future Lord Lynedoch, ?the hero of Earossa,? to have it covered up that he might never look upon it again. There are also some beautiful and delicate works by Greuze, the gift of Lzdy Murray ; and one by Thomson of Duddingstone, presented by Lady Stuart of Allanbank ; and Landseer?s I? Rent Day in the Wilderness,? a Jacobite subject, bequeathed by the late Sir Roderick Murchison, Bart. Not the least interesting works here are a few that were among the last touched by deceased artists, and left unfinished on their easels, such as Wilkie?s ?John Knox Dispensing the Sacrament at Calder House,? of which a few of the faces alone 00 by Mr. Scott, including examples of Robert Cattermole, Collins, Cox, Girtin, Prout, Nash, and Cnstall; and a set of studies of the most striking peculiarities of the Dutch, Spanish, Venetian, and Flemish schools. Of great interest, too, are the waxen models by Michael Angelo. The Gallery also contains a collection of marbles and bronzes, bequeathed by Sir James Erskine of Tome, and a cabinet of medallion portraits and casts fnm gems, by James and William Tassie, the celebrated modellers, who, though born of obscure parents in Renfrewshire, acquired such fame and reputation that the first cabinets in Europe were open to their use. The Royal Scottish Academy of Painting and
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