Case study: Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The National Galleries of Scotland offer a range of Guided Visits and Workshops on portraiture based at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.
The guided visits are aimed at ages 5-14 in the Scottish Curriculum and are interesting for KS3 in the National Curriculum of England and Wales as they indicate a way of thinking about themes and portraiture that can be applied to the KS3 curriculum. They also offer ways of looking at portraiture from the perspective of Scottish national identity.
Introduction to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The highlights of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in an introductory visit. Gallery educators introduce the group to the people and events that have shaped Scotland, through lively discussion and activities.
A Sense of History
William Hole’s magnificent pageant frieze in the main hall provides a useful starting point for visitors to explore Scottish history. This visit examines how events and decisions taken by people in the past have shaped the history of Scotland, and continues to affect us today.
Portraits capture the image and character of people at a given moment. Pupils are invited to use the artists’ clues to get to know the person in the painting – their personality, interests and beliefs. This visit can be extended to include a practical portraiture workshop.
Meet the people determined to return a Stuart monarch to the throne, as well as their enemies, and investigate what life was like for exiled Scots at the Jacobite court in Rome.
Mary, Queen of Scots
Come face-to-face in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery with Mary, Queen of Scots, her son James and her supporters.
Famous Scottish Citizens
Make an acquaintance with some celebrated Scots, both famous and infamous, and discover their contribution to the history of Scotland.
Practical portraiture workshops are also available in which students work from a model in different poses and a variety of media. Older students of Art and Design are offered a more in-depth portraiture tour, the aim of which is to: Develop critical and analytical skills and establish personal responses to portraits. Pupils examine composition, pose, focal point, handling of media, paint application, interpretation, use of the visual elements and choice of subject. Contrasts and comparisons are made between individual works.