A guide to seven of Scotland's must-see artworks
Featuring masterpieces by Titian, Dali, Jencks, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and The Glasgow Boys
The Glasgow Boys Gallery
Many credit the Glasgow Boys for putting Glasgow on the art world’s map, not that their work captures much of the city itself. The pioneering nineteenth century painters set up their easels in the countryside, capturing rural scenes in an impressionistic style that deliberately defied the Royal Scottish Academy’s teaching. Kelvingrove features the world’s premier holding of works by the Boys.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Mon–Thu & Sat, 10am–5pm; Fri & Sun, 11am–5pm, free.
Diana and Actaeon by Titian (1556–59)
Inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Titian’s painting foretells the grisly fate of the hunter Actaeon, who accidentally stumbled upon the bathing goddess Diana and was turned into a stag, then torn apart by his own dogs. The masterpiece is a highlight in the National Gallery’s collection; when the painting was offered for sale in 2009 a huge campaign raised £50m to secure the work for the nation.
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, open daily 10am–5pm, Thu until 7pm, free.
Landform Udea by Charles Jencks (2002)
Punctuating the space between Modern Art One and Two, ‘Landform’ serves as a sculpture, a garden, a work of land art and an imaginative viewing platform to admire the collection of other outdoor artworks held by the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art.
Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, open daily 10am–5pm, free.
Casts of The Parthenon Frieze
Many believe that the casts of the Parthenon Frieze at Edinburgh College of Art are more sensitively displayed than the controversial originals in the British Museum in London. The college’s Sculpture Court is a space specially designed to echo a classical temple and the frieze scales the perimeter at a height, willing audiences to observe it from the angle intended.
Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, Mon–Fri 9am–5pm, free.
Hill House by Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Hill House is one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s most famous creations. Situated in Helensburgh, the house is poised dramatically on a hill overlooking the Clyde. Mackintosh designed the exterior and interiors, including the textiles and fireplace panel. The house has been faithfully restored, closely resembling what it looked like in 1904, when the first residents moved in.
Hill House, Helensburgh, 1 Apr–31 Oct, daily 1.30pm–5.30pm, £10/£7.
Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí (1951)
Salvador Dali’s iconic painting of the crucifixion presents an image of Christ suspended in mid-air; there are no nails to pin him to the cross and no blood spilled. Yet the scene is no less dramatic for these omissions. The work was purchased for Glasgow Museums a year after it was created and has remained in the city ever since.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow. Mon–Thu & Sat, 10am–5pm, Fri & Sun 11am–5pm, free.
The Warwick Vase (2nd Century)
Lavishly decorated in Bacchic ornament carved out of marble, this massive vessel was found in Villa Tiburtina, home of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in Tivoli, just outside of Rome. The Scottish history painter Gavin Hamilton made the discovery in the late eighteenth century and it quickly became a source of inspiration for many neoclassical works.
The Burrell Collection, Glasgow. Mon–Thu & Sat, 10am–5pm; Fri & Sun 11am–5pm, free.