Thursday, 28 January 2016

Filling in time

Once a year we have to take the car into Edinburgh, for its MOT and service.  On Tuesday morning, MOT day, it was very windy and the rain was lashing down, bouncing off the pavements and blowing about in gusts, highlighted by the car's headlamps.  It was just the most awful weather. But we checked the car in, found our way into town, milled around in John Lewis for a bit, and then walked through to the wonderful National Portrait Gallery, for some coffee and a leisurely read of the newspaper.

Then, with lots of time to kill, we had a look round the gallery, admiring the handiwork of English artist William Hole, who moved to Edinburgh at the age of three, in about 1850.  In 1889 he began painting a processional frieze for the gallery's entrance hall.  It depicts famous battles fought through Scotland, over the centuries, featuring over 150 figures or "heroes" from the country’s history.  The work was described as "one of the most notable essays in mural decoration ever accomplished in this country".   It is certainly very decorative.




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