The years 1785–1865 were the era of the ‘statement picture’. Spectacular paintings of a colossal size were created with educated and cultured audiences in mind. Some, including the works in this display by were private commissions made on a royal scale which presented family history as national propaganda.
The Royal Academy of Arts, founded in London in 1768, and the Royal Scottish Academy, established in Edinburgh in 1826, provided a prominent stage for exhibiting such theatrical blockbusters. Certain entrepreneurial artists, including John Singleton Copley and Samuel Bough, produced celebratory modern history paintings as commercial speculations, dealers and publishers collaborating with artists by issuing reproduction prints of these epic works for the popular market.
We are currently working on improving our galleries. During this time some rooms will be closed and some facilities will be temporarily removed. There will be limited disabled access to some areas.
There is limited on street parking close by including for those with a blue badge.
The Scottish National Gallery can be found just off Princes Street in the city centre.
Friends of the Galleries get free unlimited entry to all exhibitions, and enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits including early exhibition access, special events and 10% discount in our cafes.
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