Scottish Art

Anybody who loves art is in for treat if they visit Edinburgh. It is of course renowned for art and culture as well as being one of Britain’s most beautiful cities.

The Edinburgh Festival takes place every summer and attracts thousands of new and established artists from all over the world.  Poets, painters, actors and playwrights all gather here to showcase their talents to the public.

The Military Tattoo is another big tourist attraction which takes place in August, making Edinburgh a very busy city during July and August. 

The Festival and the King’s theatre are the places to see the big budget productions, whilst the Traverse theatre is home to some of the newest talent in Scotland.

The National Museum of Scotland is home to 20,000 exhibits and the Writer’s museum gives you a fascinating glimpse into the lives of great Scottish writers like Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott.

Edinburgh is also home to three important Scottish art galleries. The Scottish National Gallery is in the centre of Edinburgh and was designed by the architect William Henry Playfair.

It houses one of the most extensive collections of Scottish art, which include paintings by Allan Ramsay and David Young Cameron.

Allan Ramsay is one of Scotland’s most famous and influential painters, famous for his portrait painting. He was born in Edinburgh and was employed by King George III as the principal portrait painter for himself and his family. One of his most famous paintings is that of the Duke of Argyll, who founded the Bank of Scotland. The portrait can be seen on all Scottish bank notes.

David Young Cameron is an artist better known for his Etchings, but he also produced beautiful watercolours and oil paintings of the Scottish landscape. His etching The Hill of Winds can be seen at the Scottish National Gallery.

If you prefer modern art and sculpture, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is housed in two buildings, which are set in extensive parkland, and are known as Modern One and Modern Two.

Here you can look at paintings by Scottish artists like Samuel Peploe, who is famous for his still life oil paintings and William Gillies who is known for his beautiful watercolours.

The parkland which surrounds the two art galleries is home to the works of some of the most famous sculptures of the 19th century. There are works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Anthony Gormley.

Once you’ve explored the museums and art galleries, head towards Edinburgh Castle and the streets surrounding it and browse the Antique shops. There a number around the castle area and in Dundas Street. You will find everything from antique corkscrews, through to furniture, ceramics, jewellery, books and lighting. There are between twenty and thirty antiques shops in Edinburgh itself, if you explore the tiny alleyways and roads in the city centre, you’ll come across the shops and the treasure trove of antiques that they have in stock.

Edinburgh is around a 1 hour drive to both the Scottish Antique & Arts Centres at Abernyte and at Doune, where we have many art dealers displaying some fine examples of Scottish fine art. You can visit our antique dealers (Abernyte) or our antique dealers (Doune) pages to find out more, or visit us at Abernyte or Doune - we’re open 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm.