Scottish National Portrait Gallery Queen Street Edinburgh
Scottish National Portrait Gallery building was built in the 1890 by a donation from John Ritchie Findlay. The old portraits within the gallery are from Scottish history. Painted by a range of major European and American masters. The gallery also displays sculptures, miniatures and photographs. Unique visual history of Scotland told through the portraits of those who shaped it, from the 16th century to the present. They include Mary Queen of Scots, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Sean Connery. It also houses the National Photography Collection. Before entering the Gallery look at the carved statues that stand around the building. To see all the statues around the building and who they are go to the page on Scottish National Portrait Gallery Statues.
The Plaque on the west of the entrance reads; Dedicated to the | illustration of Scottish | history. This edifice the | gift to his native country | of John Ritchie Findlay | was erected anno domini 1890 | by the honourable the board | of trustees for manufactures | R Rowan Anderson LLD architect.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery Founder
John Ritchie Findlay founder of the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland and donor of the building it stands in. He was born at Arbroath 21 October 1824 and educated in Edinburgh. Became the owner of the Scotsman Newspaper which his great uncle had founded. Championed his workers living conditions by building houses in the Dean Village for their use (Well Court, Hawthorn Buildings and Dean Path Buildings), Also was active in achieving the admission of women to the University of Edinburgh Medical School. He lived in 3 Rothesay Terrace in the west end of Edinburgh in a house that he had built for his family. On his death he was buried beside his great uncle John Findlay in Dean Cemetery.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery Library
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery Library or Scottish biographical and portraiture library on the first floor has many interesting things to see. There are many reference books and catalogues which cover a wide category. Marble bust of the famous and life and death masks of the infamous and famous. Many miniatures that will keep you amazed at the skills of the artists.
The death masks of two of the most infamous of Edinburgh’s historic residents William Burke and William Hare the murderous duo of the West Port.
In addition the death masks of Robert the Bruce (King Robert I) hero or Villain
Scottish National Portrait Gallery Robert Burns Statue
There are many busts all around the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Certainly the place to see what the famous residents and icons of Scotland looked like. There is also a large statue of Robert Burns as you enter. This Statue originally was on the Burns Monument that stands in Regent Road opposite the Royal High School on Calton Hill.