Art collection showcases the beauty of the capital

This collection of Edinburgh-focused work gives us a profound sense of the different periods of time that helped shape the contemporary capital.

Through the work of artists such as John Bellany, Anne Redpath, Sir Henry Raeburn and Alexander Naysmith, every aspect of the city is explored as we learn to appreciate Auld Reekie’s diversity and history, as well as its modern day beauty, featuring 100 pieces of artwork, spanning the period of time from the Enlightenment to the present day,

With the city still expanding, areas being restored and the tram system being reintroduced, it’s a good time for reflection and to try and understand the genesis of such an inspiring city. Not only does this collection of artwork allow us to see the physical changes, such as in the architecture, it also gives us a very real sense of how everyday life has changed for the people living in the city since the Scottish Enlightenment.

A History of Art graduate and arts researcher, Popiel brings a hugely creative mind to this project. Her passion for her home town, which goes back to her early childhood, is also palpable. Well acquainted with every nook and cranny of the capital, she ideftly captures the immense aesthetic beauty of Edinburgh.

Although usueful for students of art, the extended captions beside each piece of art allow help casual readers to fully understand and interpret each illustration.

The introduction to each artist, along with the clearly presented technical details and historical facts, make this a very accessible tome.

It’s a fitting celebration of one of the world’s most beautiful cities that meshes its impressive present with its inspiring artistic past, often capturing the essence of the city through artwork that examines intricate details.

Using artwork to tell the historic story of Edinburgh puts an interesting and unusual perspective on the city as seen through the eyes of painters, printmakers and sculptors.

With such a huge variety of artwork – ranging from drawings, paintings and prints to sculptures, photography and tapestry – the collection underlines the magnificent spread and volume of artistry within the city.

With over four and a half thousand pieces of art to choose from, Popiel has selected the hundred that she believes best represent this remarkble city.

A Capital View, by Alyssa Jean Popiel, published by Birlinn, £25.

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