The neoclassical New Town of Edinburgh was built in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century following the example of ancient Greek architecture in grand and formal lines. Walter Scott's Monument, designed and built by George Meikle Kemp, asserts the contrast and importance of the Gothic, northern culture, which interrupts the regular calm of the surrounding neoclassical buildings. Judging by the shadows, the picture was taken in the afternoon, when the light is best in Princes Street. The street looks empty, because the photograph was taken on a long exposure, and a dark blur is all that is left of the passers-by along the pavement on the left. The Royal Institution, now the Royal Scottish Academy building can be seen on the right.