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William Donaldson Clark
The National Gallery and Royal Institution (Royal Scottish Academy), Edinburgh
21.10 x 26.30 cm
National Galleries of Scotland
Gift of Mrs. Riddell in memory of Peter Fletcher Riddell 1985, Accession number: PGP R 128
Curatorial description (Accessed: 29 November 2018)
The unusual viewpoint of this photograph creates a powerful composition and allows for the juxtaposition of different building styles in nineteenth-century Edinburgh. Immediately on the right is the National Gallery of Scotland, designed by William Playfair and only just completed when this picture was taken. Further along is the Royal Institution, now the Royal Scottish Academy, which was also designed by Playfair but built some thirty years earlier. Both buildings contrast strikingly with the Life Association Head Office on Princes Street, with its busy fašade and Venetian-style balconies. Designed by David Rhind, it was completed in the same year as the National Gallery. In the late 1960s, however, the building was demolished and replaced by a modern department store.