Monday, 29 August 2016

A visit to the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh

BFTF recently visited Edinburgh and, almost by chance, took the opportunity while there to visit the National Gallery. It proved to be a good decision as there were some beautiful artworks there. Definitely a place to visit if you are in that great city. You can read more about their collections here.

Below are a few of the paintings that particularly caught BFTF’s attention, together with the thoughts and questions they provoked in BFTF’s mind…

Niagra Falls from the American Side (Frederic Edwin Church, 1867)

Niagra Falls from the American Side

Like all the paintings shown in this post, this was painted In an age when there was no video or cinema, and photography was monochrome and in it’s infancy – so paintings and prints were perhaps the only way people could get a feel for how far off places looked.

Niagra Falls detail.
Expect they got a bit muddy getting to this observation point

Intrigued by the couple in the small observation lookout. Who are they? Did they get their clothes dirty getting to the observation point?

Poplars on the Epte (Monet, 1891)
Polpars on the Etbe, Monet
A nice painting but, on reflection, only really took a picture of it because it was by the famous Monet. (more info here)

Poplars on the Edbe detail

A detail showing the paint strokes.

Still life of flowers in a sculpted vase (Jan van Huysum, c.1718)
Still Life

An incredibly detailed painting, undertaken in oils on a copper base. Can’t help but be impressed by the technical expertise required to paint this. One wonders how, without todays speedy transport links, it was possible to get all those flowers in one place before the blooms had faded.

Still Life detail

A close up of one of two of the flowers only makes it look even more awesome!

Olive Trees (Vincent van Gogh, 1889)
Olivers, van Gogh

Certainly an arresting painting.(more info here).

Oliviers Detail - looks like Vinny was in a bit of a hurry!

Paintstrokes really interesting to look at, one wonders how van Gogh choose the colours, what his palette looked like, how he chose his colours, whether he ever ran out of a colour(and what he did then)?

The Riva degi Schiavoni (Venice) Antonio Canaletto, c.1745
The Riva degi Schiavoni (Venice)

What a detailed painting! One can almost imagine stepping into it and talking to the characters on the waterfront. The building on the left is the Doge’s Palace, the local seat of power, which is now a museum, and across the Bridge of Sigh’s can be seen the Venice prison, which looks rather plush on the outside, although the interior is no doubt very different.

The Riva degi Schiavoni (Venice) detail.
"You sir, are a cad and a bounder!"

Really like the detail and care taken over portraying the people in the scene. Wonder what they are talking about.

A view of Verona with the Ponte delle Navi (Bernardo Bellotto,1746/7)
A View of Verona by Bernardo Bellotto

Bellotto was a nephew and student of Canelletto, and it rather shows in his style of painting.

A View of Verona by Bernardo Bellotto detail.
Mafia involvement resulted in yet another overdesigned footbridge...

This painting brings out the engineer in BFTF ! How was the bridge and ramp made? How long did it take? How many people? More info here

Art Cabinet with Anthony van Dyck’s ‘Mystic Marriage of St Catherine’, (Willem (Guillam) van Haech, 1630)
Art Cabinet, Willem van Haech

There is an awful lot going on in this painting. Apparently Most of the artworks depicted in the painting can be identified, though the collection as a whole is an imaginary one.

BFTF couldn't remember the name of this painting and was having trouble identifying it online, so called the Gallery. A VNL (very nice lady) instantly identifed if from my garbled description and advised the name of the painting and the artist. Good stuff, Scottish National Gallery!

Art Cabinet detail.

Wonder what the Moor and the Italian are discussing regarding the globe, and noting the navigational instruments casually laid on the floor.

Related Content
Surface Gallery - Michael Powell Exhibition
Report on Street Art Exhibition at the Surface Gallery
Pictures of the Sky
Nottingham - Tiltshifted
Shonaleigh at Nottingham Storytellers
Great programme describing how some of Turners paintings covered key changes in the Industrial Revolution.
Piero Gilardi and John Newling at Nottingham Contemporary
Light Night 2013
The Chair
>Jean Genet at Nottingham Contemporary

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