The unusual viewpoint of this photograph creates a powerful composition and allows for the juxtaposition of different building styles in nineteenth-century Edinburgh. Immediately on the right is the Scottish National Gallery, designed by William Playfair and only just completed when this picture was taken. Further along is the Royal Institution, now the Royal Scottish Academy, which was also designed by Playfair but built some thirty years earlier. Both buildings contrast strikingly with the Life Association Head Office on Princes Street, with its busy façade and Venetian-style balconies. Designed by David Rhind, it was completed in the same year as the National Gallery. In the late 1960s, however, the building was demolished and replaced by a modern department store.