Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is an art museum on Queen Street, Edinburgh. The gallery holds the national collections of portraits, all of which are of, but not by, Scots, it holds the Scottish National Photography Collection. Since 1889 it has been housed in its red sandstone Gothic revival building, designed by Robert Rowand Anderson and built between 1885 and 1890, donated by John Ritchie Findlay, owner of The Scotsman newspaper; the gallery reopened on 1 December 2011 after being closed since April 2009 for the first comprehensive refurbishment in its history, carried out by Page\Park Architects. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is part of National Galleries of Scotland, a public body that owns the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh; the founder of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, David Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan, formed a collection of Scottish portraits in the late 18th century, much of, now in the museum. In the 19th century, the Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle was among those calling for a Scottish equivalent of the successful National Portrait Gallery, established in 1856, but the government in London refused to fund the venture.
John Ritchie Findlay stepped in and paid for the entire building, costing £50,000. The museum was established in 1882; the London National Portrait Gallery was the first such separate museum in the world, however it did not move into its current purpose-built building until 1896, making the Edinburgh gallery the first in the world to be specially built as a portrait gallery. Special national portrait galleries remain a distinct Anglophone speciality, with the other more recent examples in Washington DC, Canberra and Ottawa, Canada not so far copied in other countries; the famous collection of portraits housed in the Vasari Corridor in Florence remains only accessible to the public on a limited basis. The building was opened in 1889 under curator John Miller Gray. Over the years new facilities such as a shop and café were added in a piecemeal fashion, the galleries rearranged and remodelled reducing the clarity of the layout of the building, the ceiling height, as well as blocking off many windows.
The building was shared with the National Museum of Antiquities, now the Museum of Scotland, until they moved to a new building in 2009, at which point the long-planned refurbishment of the Portrait Gallery could begin, with funding from the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund, amongst others. The work restores the gallery spaces to their original layout, with areas set aside for education, the shop & café, a new glass lift—greatly improving access for disabled visitors. In total the Portrait Gallery has 60% more gallery space after the changes, at the reopening displayed 849 works, of which 480 were by Scots; the cost of the refurbishment was £17.6 million. The entire building comprises 5672 Sq. metres. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery building is a large edifice at the east end of Queen Street, built in red sandstone from Corsehill in Dumfriesshire, it was designed by Robert Rowand Anderson in the Gothic Revival style with a combination of Arts and Crafts and 13th-century Gothic influences, is a Category A listed building.
Built between 1885 and 1890, the building is noted for its ornate Spanish Gothic style, an unusual addition to Edinburgh's Georgian Neoclassical New Town. The windows are in carved pointed arches and the main entrance on the Queen Street front is surrounded by a large gabled arch. A distinctive feature of the gallery is its four octagonal corner towers topped with crocketed Gothic pinnacles. Anderson's design was influenced by a number of other Gothic and Gothic Revivial architectural works, in particular the rectangular Gothic Doge's Palace in Venice and the works of George Gilbert Scott, similarities have been drawn between the Portrait Gallery and Anderson's Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute, which he designed for the 3rd Marquess of Bute in the late 1870s. Around the exterior are sculpted figures of noted Scots set in niches, designed by William Birnie Rhind; these were added in the 1890s to compensate for the lack of contemporary portraits of medieval Scots in the gallery's collection at the time, as was the large processional frieze inside the main entrance hall, painted by William Hole.
This mural, added in 1898, depicts an array of notable Scots from history, ranging from Saint Ninian to Robert Burns. Figures were added to the frieze over the years after the gallery opened, Hole added further large mural narrative scenes on the 1st floor later; the museum's collection totals some 3,000 paintings and sculptures, 25,000 prints and drawings, 38,000 photographs. The collection begins in the Renaissance with works by foreign artists of Scottish royalty and printed portraits of clergymen and writers; as in England, the Scottish Reformation all but extinguished religious art, until the 19th century portrait painting dominated Scottish painting, with patrons extending down the social scale. In the 16th century most painted portraits are of the more important nobility; the collection includes two portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots, although neithe
Patrick Neill (naturalist)
Patrick Neill was a Scottish printer and horticulturalist, known as a naturalist. A founding member, the first secretary, of both the Wernerian Natural History Society and the Caledonian Horticultural Society, he is remembered today for having endowed the Neill Medal of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Neill' works include A Tour Through Some of the Islands of Orkney and Shetland, which caused much public debate at the time, due to its descriptions of the economic misery of the islanders, he authored the Gardening article in the seventh edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. This article was subsequently expanded and published as a separate book under the title of The Fruit and Kitchen Garden, popular and ran through several editions; when the Nor Loch was drained in 1820, Neill was commissioned to plan the scheme of planting of 5 acres of land, now West Princes Street Gardens. This included the planting of shrubs; the rosaceous genus. He was born in Edinburgh on 25 October 1776, spent his life there.
He became the head of the large printing firm of Neill & Co. of Edinburgh, but during the last thirty years of his life he took little active part in its management. Early in his career he devoted his spare time to natural history botany and horticulture; the Wernerian Natural History Society was established in 1808, in 1809 the Caledonian Horticultural Society was founded. Neill was the first secretary of both societies, holding the latter post for forty years. Neill's residence at Canonmills Cottage was open to visitors, he was Fellow of the Linnean Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, honorary LL. D. of Edinburgh University. He served as President of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh in 1842–43. A short time before his death he became enfeebled by a stroke of paralysis, after several months of suffering he died at Canonmills on 3 September 1851, was buried in Warriston Cemetery, on the western wall in the extreme south-west corner of the original cemetery, just west of the archway to the southern extension.
His tombstone states that he was "distinguished for literature, patriotism and piety". The memorial was restored by the Friends of Warriston Cemetery 2014/2015, he died unmarried, among his various charitable bequests was one of £500 to the Caledonian Horticultural Society to found a medal for distinguished Scottish botanists or cultivators, a similar sum to the Royal Society of Edinburgh for a medal to distinguished Scottish naturalists. He is botanically commemorated by the rosaceous genus Neillia. Edinburgh is indebted to Neill for the scheme of the West Princes Street Gardens. In 1820, that portion of the north loch was drained, five acres of ground were laid out and planted with seventy-seven thousand trees and shrubs under his direction, he intervened to preserve several antiquities that were on the point of being demolished. In 1806 appeared his Tour through Orkney and Shetland, a work which gave rise to discussion because of its reports of poverty. In 1814 he issued a translation, An Account of the Basalts of Saxony, from the French of Dubuisson, with Notes, Edinburgh.
He was the author of the article "Gardening" in the seventh edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was subsequently published as The Flower and Kitchen Garden. In 1817 Neill, with two other deputies from the Caledonian Society, made a tour through the Netherlands and the north of France, he wrote an account of it, published in 1823, his great niece was the Scottish lady golfer and First World War heroine, Margaret Neill Fraser who died while serving in Serbia. Parks & Gardens UK pageAttribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Neill, Patrick". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900
Sir David Brewster KH PRSE FRS FSA FSSA MICE was a Scottish scientist, inventor and academic administrator. In science he is principally remembered for his experimental work in physical optics concerned with the study of the polarization of light and including the discovery of Brewster's angle, he studied the birefringence of crystals under compression and discovered photoelasticity, thereby creating the field of optical mineralogy. For this work, William Whewell dubbed him the "father of modern experimental optics" and "the Johannes Kepler of optics."A pioneer in photography, Brewster invented an improved stereoscope, which he called "lenticular stereoscope" and which became the first portable 3D-viewing device. He invented the binocular camera, two types of polarimeters, the polyzonal lens, the lighthouse illuminator, the kaleidoscope. Brewster was a Presbyterian and walked arm in arm with his brother on the Disruption procession which formed the Free Church of Scotland; as a historian of science, Brewster focused on the work of his hero, Isaac Newton.
Brewster published a detailed biography of Newton in 1831 and became the first scientific historian to examine many of the papers in Newton's Nachlass. Brewster wrote numerous works of popular science, was one of the founders of the British Science Association, of which he was elected President in 1849, he became the public face of higher education in Scotland, serving as Principal of the University of St Andrews and of the University of Edinburgh. Brewster edited the 18-volume Edinburgh Encyclopædia. David Brewster was born at the Canongate in Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, to Margaret Key and James Brewster, the rector of Jedburgh Grammar School and a teacher of high reputation. David was the third of six children, two daughters and four sons: James, minister at Craig, Ferryden. At the age of 12, David was sent to the University of Edinburgh, being intended for the clergy, he was licensed a minister of the Church of Scotland, preached around Edinburgh on several occasions. He had shown a strong inclination for natural science, this had been fostered by his intimacy with a "self-taught philosopher and mathematician", as Sir Walter Scott called him, of great local fame, James Veitch of Inchbonny, a man, skilful in making telescopes.
Though Brewster duly finished his theological studies and was licensed to preach, his other interests distracted him from the duties of his profession. In 1799 fellow-student Henry Brougham persuaded him to study the diffraction of light; the results of his investigations were communicated from time to time in papers to the Philosophical Transactions of London and other scientific journals. The fact that other scientists – notably Étienne-Louis Malus and Augustin Fresnel – were pursuing the same investigations contemporaneously in France does not invalidate Brewster's claim to independent discovery though in one or two cases the priority must be assigned to others. A lesser-known classmate of his, Thomas Dick went on to become a popular astronomical writer; the most important subjects of his inquiries can be enumerated under the following five headings: The laws of light polarization by reflection and refraction, other quantitative laws of phenomena. In this line of investigation, the prime importance belongs to the discovery of the connection between the refractive index and the polarizing angle.
These discoveries were promptly recognised. As early as 1807 the degree of LL. D. was conferred upon Brewster by Aberdeen. In 1821, he was made a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in 1822 a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among the non-scientific public, his fame spread more effectually by his invention in about 1815 of the kaleidoscope, for which there was a great demand in both the United Kingdom and the United States; as a reflection of this fame, Brewster portrait was printed in some cigar boxes. Brewster chose renowned achromatic lens developer Philip Carpenter as the sole manufacturer of the kaleidoscope in 1817. Although Brewster patented the kaleidoscope in 1817, a copy of the prototype was shown to London opticians and copied before the patent was granted; as a consequence, the kaleidoscope became produced in large numbers, but yielded no direct financial benefits to Brewster. It proved to be a massive success with two hundred thousand kaleidoscopes sold in London and Paris in just three months.
An instrument of more significance, the stereoscope, which – though of much date – along with the kaleidoscope did more than anything else to popularise his name, was not as has been asserted the invention of Brewster. Sir Charles Wheatstone discovered its principle and applied it as early as 1838 to
George Aikman ARSA was a Scottish painter and engraver. Born at the top of Warriston Close, in the High Street, Edinburgh, on 20 May 1830, was the ninth child of George Aikman and his wife Alison McKay; the father, after employment by William Home Lizars the engraver, started business for himself about 1825 in Warriston Close, where he produced the plates and illustrations for the Encyclopædia Britannica seventh edition. Many of these were engraved by his son George. From a private school Aikman was sent to Edinburgh High School, where he was for three sessions in the class of Dr. James Boyd, he was apprenticed to his father, who had moved his business to 29 North Bridge, after a journeyman period, during which he worked in Manchester and London, he was admitted a partner. As an apprentice he had attended the classes of the Trustees' Academy directed by Robert Scott Lauder, the Royal Scottish Academy life-class. By 1850 Aikman was showing work at the Scottish Academy exhibitions, but it was not until 1870 that he abandoned business for painting.
In 1880 he was elected an A. R. S. A. Between 1874 and 1904 he exhibited at nine of the Royal Academy exhibitions in London. In his final years Aikman was living in a flat at 22 Scotland Street in Edinburgh's New Town. Aikman died in Edinburgh on 8 January 1905, was buried in Warriston cemetery. Aikman's theme as a painter was landscape in the Perthshire Highlands and Warwickshire, he practised etching during most of his life, towards the end he engraved mezzotints. Impressions of some of these were exhibited; the engraved plates included: Robert Burns, after Alexander Nasmyth, Sir Douglas Maclagan, after Sir George Reid. R. S. A.. An etching after his picture For the Good of the Church was purchased by the Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland. Aikman contributed to the Etcher, English Etchings, Selected Etchings, he illustrated A Round of the Links: Views of the Golf Greens of Scotland, with etchings after the drawings of John Smart, R. S. A. and The Midlothian Eska. Aikman made some contributions on engravers and painters of earlier generations.
He made drawings of ancient Edinburgh houses doomed to demolition, the City Museum gathered a collection of them. On 2 December 1859 Aikman married Elizabeth Barnett, who with three daughters and two sons survived him. Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Meldrum, David Storrar. "Aikman, George". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 1. London: Smith, Elder & Co. Soden, Joanna. "Aikman, George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30351. 2 paintings by or after George W. Aikman at the Art UK site
Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly in London. It has a unique position as an independent funded institution led by eminent artists and architects, its purpose is to promote the creation and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions and debate. The Royal Academy of Arts was founded through a personal act of King George III on 10 December 1768 with a mission to promote the arts of design in Britain through education and exhibition; the motive in founding the Academy was twofold: to raise the professional status of the artist by establishing a sound system of training and expert judgement in the arts, to arrange the exhibition of contemporary works of art attaining an appropriate standard of excellence. Supporters wanted to foster a national school of art and to encourage appreciation and interest among the public based on recognised canons of good taste. Fashionable taste in 18th-century Britain was based on continental and traditional art forms, providing contemporary British artists little opportunity to sell their works.
From 1746 the Foundling Hospital, through the efforts of William Hogarth, provided an early venue for contemporary artists in Britain. The success of this venture led to the formation of the Society of Artists of Great Britain and the Free Society of Artists. Both these groups were exhibiting societies; the combined vision of education and exhibition to establish a national school of art set the Royal Academy apart from the other exhibiting societies. It provided the foundation upon which the Royal Academy came to dominate the art scene of the 18th and 19th centuries, supplanting the earlier art societies; the origin of the Royal Academy of Arts lies in an attempt in 1755 by members of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Commerce, principally the sculptor Henry Cheere, to found an autonomous academy of arts. Prior to this a number of artists were members of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Commerce, including Cheere and William Hogarth, or were involved in small-scale private art academies, such as the St Martin's Lane Academy.
Although Cheere's attempt failed, the eventual charter, called an'Instrument', used to establish the Royal Academy of Arts over a decade was identical to that drawn up by Cheere in 1755. It was Sir William Chambers, a prominent architect and head of the British government's architects' department, the Office of Works, who used his connections with George III to gain royal patronage and financial support for the Academy in 1768; the painter Joshua Reynolds was made its first president, Francis Milner Newton was elected the first secretary, a post he held for two decades until his resignation in 1788. The instrument of foundation, signed by George III on 10 December 1768, named 34 founder members and allowed for a total membership of 40; the founder members were Reynolds, John Baker, George Barret, Francesco Bartolozzi, Giovanni Battista Cipriani, Augustino Carlini, Charles Catton, Mason Chamberlin, William Chambers, Francis Cotes, George Dance, Nathaniel Dance, Thomas Gainsborough, John Gwynn, Francis Hayman, Nathaniel Hone the Elder, Angelica Kauffman, Jeremiah Meyer, George Michael Moser, Mary Moser, Francis Milner Newton, Edward Penny, John Inigo Richards, Paul Sandby, Thomas Sandby, Dominic Serres, Peter Toms, William Tyler, Samuel Wale, Benjamin West, Richard Wilson, Joseph Wilton, Richard Yeo, Francesco Zuccarelli.
William Hoare and Johann Zoffany were added to this list by the King and are known as nominated members. Among the founder members were two women, a father and daughter, two sets of brothers; the Royal Academy was housed in cramped quarters in Pall Mall, although in 1771 it was given temporary accommodation for its library and schools in Old Somerset House a royal palace. In 1780 it was installed in purpose-built apartments in the first completed wing of New Somerset House, designed by Chambers, located in the Strand and designed by Chambers, the Academy's first treasurer; the Academy moved in 1837 to Trafalgar Square, where it occupied the east wing of the completed National Gallery. These premises soon proved too small to house both institutions. In 1868, 100 years after the Academy's foundation, it moved to Burlington House, where it remains. Burlington House is owned by the British Government, used rent-free by the Royal Academy; the first Royal Academy exhibition of contemporary art, open to all artists, opened on 25 April 1769 and ran until 27 May 1769.
136 works of art were shown and this exhibition, now known as the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, has been staged annually without interruption to the present day. In 1870 the Academy expanded its exhibition programme to include a temporary annual loan exhibition of Old Masters, following the cessation of a similar annual exhibition at the British Institution; the range and frequency of these loan exhibitions have grown enormously since that time, making the Royal Academy a leading art exhibition institution of international importance. Britain's first public lectures on art were staged by the Royal Academy, as another way to fulfil its mission. Led by Reynolds, the first president, a program included lectures by Dr. William Hunter, John Flaxman, James Barry, Sir John Soane, J. M. W. Turner; the last three were all graduates of the RA School, which for a long time was the only established art school in the Royal Academy. In 2018, the Academy's 250th anniversary, the results of a major refurbishment were unveiled.
The project began on 1 January 2008 with the appointment of David Chipperfield Architects. Heritage Lottery
Egide Charles Gustave, Baron Wappers was a Belgian painter. His work is considered to be Flemish and he signed his work with the Flemish form of his name, Gustaf Wappers, he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, during 1826 in Paris. The Romantic movement with its new ideas about art and politics was astir in France. Wappers was the first Belgian artist to take advantage of this state of affairs, his first exhibited painting, "The Devotion of the Burgomaster of Leiden," appeared at the appropriate moment and had great success in the Brussels Salon in 1830, the year of the Belgian Revolution. While political, this remarkable work revolutionized the direction of Flemish painters. Wappers was invited to the court at Brussels, was favoured with commissions. In 1832 the city of Antwerp appointed him Professor of Painting, he exhibited his masterpiece, "Episode of the Belgian Revolution of 1830" or rather "Episode of the September Days of 1830 on the Grand Place of Brussels", at the Antwerp Salon in 1834.
He was subsequently appointed painter to King of the Belgians. At the death of Matthieu-Ignace Van Brée in 1839 he was elevated to director of the Antwerp Academy; as a teacher at the Antwerp Academy he trained a great number of pupils including Ford Madox Brown, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, William Duffield, Emil Hünten, the Czech history painter Karel Javůrek, Jaroslav Čermák, Ludwig von Hagn, Josephus Laurentius Dyckmans, Eugene van Maldeghem, Ferdinand Pauwels and Jacob Jacobs. His works are numerous; some of them depict traditional devotional subjects, while others illustrate the Romantic view of history: "Charles I taking leave of his Children", "Charles IX", "Camoens", "Peter the Great at Saardam", "Boccaccio at the Court of Joanna of Naples". Louis Philippe gave him a commission to paint a large painting for the gallery at Versailles, "The Defence of Rhodes by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem", he finished the work in 1844, the same year that he received the title of baron from Belgian king Leopold I.
After retiring as director of the Antwerp Academy, he settled in 1853 in Paris, where he died in 1873. Created Baron Wappers. Titular painter of the King. Saxe-Coburg and Gotha: Member of the Saxe-Ernestine House Order. Kingdom of Portugal: Knight of the Military Order of Christ. Media related to Gustave Wappers at Wikimedia Commons