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Edinburgh Castle and the Nor' Loch

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Edinburgh Castle and the Nor' Loch 1824

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This painting shows the Nor' Loch, which covered the ground now occupied by Princes Street Gardens. At the time Nasmyth was painting the loch had already been drained so the artist intended a reminiscence or reconstruction of the original appearance of this site. The building of the Royal Institution on The Mound in the 1820s might very naturally have prompted the artist to think about the site in its original form.

Glossary Open

Royal Institution

Founded in Edinburgh in 1819, the Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland was a privately funded and largely aristocratic body, modelled on the British Institution in London. The Royal Institution (RI) initially staged exhibitions of Old Master paintings, but from 1821 to 1830 it also mounted contemporary exhibitions to stimulate patronage for modern Scottish art. The RI’s fifth exhibition occupied a new building dedicated to the arts on The Mound. This building, originally named the Royal Institution, was shared with other bodies and learned societies. It is now called the Royal Scottish Academy building. In the 1820s the RI began to form a national collection of paintings, most of which was later housed in the adjacent National Gallery of Scotland.

Royal Institution


  • Acc. No. NG 2104
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 45.40 x 61.00 cm (framed: 83.20 x 68.60 x 6.00 cm)
  • Credit Presented by Mrs E Pringle 1948