Scottish National Gallery

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The National Galleries of Scotland looks after one of the world's finest collections of Western art ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. These holdings include the National Collection of Scottish art which we are proud to display in an international context.

We care for, research and develop these collections and we aim to share these works of art with as wide a public as possible. Every year we welcome over a million visitors from Scotland and the rest of the world to our various Galleries sited in Edinburgh.

We have active programmes of education, outreach and special exhibitions and where possible we work with partners across Scotland to maximise the impact of our activities.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Open daily, 10am-5pm. Thursdays until 7pm.

Admission charges


Collection details

Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Jean-Étienne Liotard

  • 4 July — 13 September 2015 *on now

The work of Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-89) has been rarely exhibited and this is the first time it will be comprehensively celebrated in Britain.

Liotard enjoyed a long career and his finest portraits display an astonishing hyper-realism achieved through a combination of incredible, intense observation and remarkable technical skills. He excelled at the delicate art of pastel, but also drew, painted in oil, created enamels, and was a refined miniaturist and printmaker. His activity was prodigious: Liotard wrote a treatise on painting, was a collector, a dealer, a traveller and an artistic innovator. In the age of Mozart and Casanova, he was a key international figure whose achievement deserves to be better known.

Highlights of this important show include famous portraits, startling self-portraits, and brilliant experiments with genre and still-life subjects from the end of his career.




Bailey's Stardust

  • 18 July — 18 October 2015 *on now

David Bailey is one of the world's most distinguished and distinctive photographers. He has made an outstanding contribution to photography and the visual arts, creating consistently imaginative and thought-provoking portraits. As well as new work, this landmark exhibition includes a wide variety of Bailey’s photographs from a career that has spanned more than half a century.

Following on from the celebrated 2001 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art exhibition of Bailey’s photographs,Bailey's Stardust is the largest exhibition of his portraits ever to be shown in the UK. The exhibition comprises over 300 portraits including works that depict Bailey's time in East Africa, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Delhi and the Naga Hills, as well as icons from the worlds of fashion and the arts with striking portraits of the Rolling Stones, Catherine Bailey and the East End of London.




Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Selling Dreams: Fashion Photography

  • 11 August 2015 12:45-1:30pm

In this talk, Suzanna Brow, Curator of Photographs, Victoria and Albert Museum, London explores the development of the medium, from its roots in Victorian society portraiture to today's most dazzling fashion images, rich with colour and poetic narratives.


In Conversation: Zandra Rhodes

  • 11 August 2015 6-7:30pm

Zandra Rhodes will be in conversation with Professor Chris Breward, Principal of Edinburgh College of Art about her experiences working with David Bailey, her work as a designer and reflections on being a Fashion Icon.


Tickets £15


Cutting Up Picasso – Cubism and Lee Miller’s Collage

  • 18 August 2015 12:45-1:30pm

Dr Patricia Allmer, Chancellor's Fellow, Edinburgh College of Art, will explore Lee Miller's Collage - a little known 1937 work Miller made in Mougins in response to Picasso's portrayals of her, of other women surrealists, and of wider artistic and art historical networks in which Miller and Picasso were involved


Lee Miller: Wonder & Horror (Richard Calcocoressi, Henry Moore Foundation)

  • 25 August 2015 12:45-1:30pm

Miller's work as a war photographer and correspondent for Vogue was the defining experience of her career. A lecture by Richard Calvocoressi, Director of the Henry Moore Foundation, and author of Lee Miller: Portraits from A Life (2002). He curated Lee Miller Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in 2005.


M.C. Escher: A Mathematician’s Eye View

  • 27 August 2015 12:45-1:30pm

One of the key influences on Maurits Escher’s remarkable art was mathematics, especially geometry. Initially his style evolved from an intuitive understanding of shapes and spatial relationships, leading to many of the themes that run through his art: tiling patterns, impossible tricks of perspective, even visual jokes.

When contemplating visual representations of infinity, he discovered curious patterns created inside a circle, becoming ever smaller as they approached the centre. The mathematician H.S.M. (‘Donald’) Coxeter recognised that the underlying structure was a type of non-Euclidean geometry known as the Poincaré disc. This led to regular contact between the two men, and Escher began using explicit mathematical ideas to explore artistic possibilities.

Ian Stewart, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Warwick, in simple non-technical terms and with many illustrations, the relationship between Escher’s art and mathematics, and explore applications of these mathematical concepts to the real world. No specialist mathematical knowledge is needed - just an interest in visual patterns!


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Bags of Art and Cart

Bags of Art and Art Cart enables young visitors and their families to explore the diverse range of art on show. It is loaded with an exciting variety of art materials and specially-designed creative activities. Trained educators are also on hand to help young visitors with enquiries.

How to obtain

Drop in to the National Gallery's self-led art activities to explore the Art Cart. Contact or 0131 6246410 for more details.

Saturday Art Club

Saturday Art Club consists of four-week courses, each led by a different artist, and linked to a particular exhibition, theme, display or artwork. Sessions are led by practising artists, providing continuity between courses for the participants. Saturday Art Club currently runs from September to April each year. There are two classes: 10.00-12.00 for 5-7 year olds and 13.30-15.30 for 8-11 year olds. A maximum of fifteen participants in each group is maintained to ensure a high-quality experience.

How to obtain

To book contact the gallery on or 0131 6246410. Also note that the host gallery of Saturday Art Club does move between the various National Galleries of Scotland venues.

Saturday Studio

Saturday Studio is devised with and for young people aged 11-15 years. The courses take place in four-week blocks on Saturday afternoons from 13.30-16.30. Saturday Studio currently runs from September to April each year. There is a maximum of fifteen participants to ensure a quality experience. Saturday Studio began in September 2004, developing out of Saturday Art Club. As a particular group of young people reached the 11 year old cut-off, they wanted to continue attending courses at the Galleries. They themselves were involved in planning the format, timing and content of Saturday Studio. Such consultation with participants continues by meetings and letters.

How to obtain

Booking ahead is essential and can be done by contacting or calling 0131 6246410. Also note that Saturday Studio does move between the various National Galleries of Scotland venues, depending on the course so do check in advance.

Scottish National Gallery
Fine Art
The Mound




0131 624 6200


0131 343 3250

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.