Another week, another museum excursion – this time to the one and only Scottish National Gallery.
I decided to visit the national gallery last Saturday afternoon, the weather was particularly beautiful and I was excited for my walk downtown. As I was making my way down town, walking fast, faces pass, I ran right into one of the most emotional moving things I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. I had noticed a lot more traffic than usual, but just chalked it up to being a Saturday. What I failed to realize (before it was literally right in front of my face), was that there was a march for Scottish independence. Now, I know the feud between Scotland and England/Great Britain is a long and complex one (that I hope to learn more about at some museums), but recently tensions have been on the rise due to – you guessed it – Brexit. Almost the entirety of Scotland voted to remain part of the EU, and the Scots are not happy that they are being dragged into the mess that is Brexit. It was incredible to just stumble upon these people who were so passionate about their culture and heritage that they’d be willing to split from the much more economically sound, for now, UK.
Anyways, after about half an hour or so of soaking up that glorious energy, I continued on my journey to the national gallery. My first impression was that this was a pretty cookie cutter gallery (by my expert standards of course) – lots of Dutch art, French impressionists, Italian renaissance – but there was notably a lot of Scottish art!! I would even argue that the Scottish National Gallery had more Scottish art than the National Gallery of Ireland had Irish art. One fantastic piece of Scottish art was The Monarch of the Glen by Sir Edwin Landseer. This is one of the most famous Scottish paintings, depicting a majestic ‘royal’, or twelve-point, stag and effectively showing off the beautiful highland landscape and wildlife.
Next weekend I will be taking a little break from museums to immerse myself in a more outdoor cultural experience at Loch Ness (before you know it I’ll have my own monster hunting show on the History Channel – so look out). I’ll making making a few stops at Scottish towns on my way and I’m excited to learn more about Scotland!!