Colour and Expression | Art in Britain 1890–1925

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Admission free


This display highlights a selection of paintings by artists associated with the London-based Bloomsbury Group and Camden Town painters, and the Scottish Colourists. It reveals the diversity of approaches developed and how these artists formed close networks of like-minded individuals in the pursuit of innovation.

In 1910, the daring exhibition Manet and the Post-Impressionists was staged at the Grafton Galleries in London. It represented a watershed moment in British art. Grouping together paintings by Edouard Manet, Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin, among others, it showed British audiences the evolution of French modern art since the emergence of Impressionism in the 1860s.

By contrast, contemporary art in Edwardian Britain was more conservative. Paintings of visually appealing subjects depicted in muted tones with fluid, sweeping brushstrokes, dominated the British art market. This elegant and refined style is characterised by the work of John Singer Sargent.

Inspired by post-impressionist art, encountered both at home and abroad, a generation of British artists began to experiment with bright colours, animated brushwork, strong patterns and outlines.


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Gallery facilities

Detailed information on accessibility at the National Galleries of Scotland

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.

  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack
  • Accessible toilets for gallery visitors
  • Baby change for gallery visitors
  • Toilets for gallery visitors
  • Café
  • Restaurant
Getting here

Getting here

The Scottish National Gallery can be found just off Princes Street in the city centre.

Venue map
  • Open daily, 10am-5pm
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL



Bloomsbury Group

An early twentieth-century group of artists and writers named after the Bloomsbury area of London where many members lived. Members included Virginia Woolf, Clive and Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. The group did much to promote Post-Impressionist art in Britain.

Camden Town Group

Formed in 1911 by Walter Sickert, the members of this short-lived group were influenced by Post-Impressionism. Their main concern was depicting everyday realist scenes often with vibrant colours. It was named after the area of London where Sickert lived and worked.

Scottish Colourists

A group of Scottish painters comprising Samuel John Peploe, Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, George Leslie Hunter and John Duncan Fergusson, who were active in the early twentieth century. 


A broad-ranging term covering the variety of painting styles that emerged in the wake of Impressionism in Europe, particularly in France. The most prominent artists to arise from the group are Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

Our Friends

Our Friends

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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