Monday, May 7, 2018

National Gallery Vantages

I went to the National Gallery of Canada one afternoon in late April to take in some art, which we'll be looking at today and the next three posts. From the photographer's point of view, I took less shots than I usually would on a visit, as I wanted to fill in some days before the Tulip Festival.

Here we have a view out the glass tower towards Parliament Hill. Some years back this view was not possible for a few months- the tower was scaffolded and surrounded by a trompe-l'oeil screen in the form of an iceberg. This was so that the panes of glass in the tower could be replaced.

For a few days in the winter, the Gallery was shut down so that the same process could commence in the main entrance and up the colonnade that leads to the gallery spaces. Scaffolding was installed in a way that maintains the lightness of the long corridor and allows crews to undertake the work of replacing the glass panes all along this stretch. This view is taken from the top of the ramp, looking down towards the main entrance area.

Two large inner courtyards are found within the building. One features a garden at the first level (which for whatever reason I didn't seem to photograph this time). The other features a reflection pool. This view of it is taken on the first level, where Canadian art is to be found.

From the second level, where the world art is, we have two more vantage points of the scaffolding around the colonnade. The first shows the passageway coming from the elevators, running parallel to the long ramp. This comes in handy if you're in a wheelchair, because you don't want to be ascending that ramp in one.

The second features a view from above at the end of the colonnade where one enters the glass tower.

Moving back along the balcony here gives us views out through the tower towards the Hill, and to the Ottawa River.

Taken on the second level, this looks across one of the courtyard spaces. The garden is down below, out of sight.

Here we have a view of the reflecting pool from above.

One more look out the glass tower, taken when I was departing from the world art section.

And for today I finish with the last shot I took on this visit. The reflecting pool is viewed from below, down near the main entrance of the Gallery. Two people can be seen at the far end sitting above the pool. Coins are scattered on the glass.


  1. This is a massive and gorgeous building and a superb art gallery/museum.

  2. Very impressive building. My favourite is the 1st picture.

  3. What an amazing building, the glass tower and the views out of it are wonderful:)

  4. i enjoy all the see through areas ... so creative and cool designs!! ( ;

  5. Such a great public space, and a great place to be- especially during inclement weather!


  6. Very interesting !
    Thanks for sharing, William !

  7. Must have been quite an undertaking. Those tall glass windows are amazing. Thank you for the great photos, the reflection pool is impressive too.

  8. Beautiful. The first photo of the reflecting pool looks as if goldfish are in there.

  9. The view over to Parliament Hill from the glass tower is too fabulous William ✨

  10. @Lowell: I enjoy it every time I visit.

    @Nancy: thank you!

    @Gattina: it is!

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Rosie: it's magnificent architecture.

    @Janey: it really is.

    @Beth: the architect did wonders.

    @Janis: yes, I've been in here on rainy days, and it's a wonderful way to get out of the bad weather and spend time with works that are quite uplifting.

    @Karl: you're welcome.

    @Tom: that it is.

    @Denise: it's a pleasure to visit.

    @Maywyn: it does, yes.

    @Marie: I do too.

    @Grace: I agree!

  11. I'm always impressed by views of this building. It looks like it is artistically designed.

  12. The glass tower presents a very busy pattern. The reflecting pool is a surprise when you have a below pool view.

  13. Amazing architecture and neat photos!

    Happy Week ahead to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  14. The reflecting pool would be where I would enjoy hanging out for awhile. I am just now catching up on blog reading, William, and thanks for your recent comments on my blog.

  15. With Murphy's Law in existence I'm surprised that pool hasn't leaked!

  16. The building is quite beautiful and I enjoyed learning about the architecture and the renovation project. And smiled to myself thinking that Bill would be very interested in this post -- much more than he would the art within the building. On our travels, I needed to find a gallery that had something going on like the remodeling project so he could watch that while I admired the paintings.

  17. That reflecting pool is a spectacular sight. I haven't seen anything like this before.

  18. @Sharon: it was well designed.

    @Red: the fountain in and of itself is art.

    @Carol: thank you!

    @Beatrice: it's quite a space to be in.

    @RedPat: it hasn't to my knowledge.

    @Sallie: I enjoy the art, though I do seem to go through contemporary art more quickly.

    @Marleen: it's a beauty.

  19. What a lovely building. The views from the glass tower are absolutely gorgeous.

  20. What a fantastic building, it has several great views.

  21. The first picture almost too dark to discern everything. The glass tower was worth the entire tour.

  22. Those glass towers are very striking, very nice. And the view from the reflecting pool is interesting. (People seem to be willing to throw coins into anything that looks wet, don't they?)

  23. Beautiful place to visit .
    Need lot of time to see all the views in this place:)

  24. I guess this is the pre-shoulder season. Time for repairs before things get going.
    I'm looking forward to your tulipfest photos! We have another healthcare appointment in the city this week. It wears me out, and I am not much inclined to just visit. Golderpalooza was in Barrhaven, but we just took off home after.

  25. Can't get over the sheer size of this building.
    I like the reflecting pool.

    All the best Jan

  26. There are some beautiful spaces here and I love the windows in the courtyard cafe!

  27. Interesting architecture. I like glass walls, but when I think about cleaning them... OMG, hard work.

  28. @Bill: I have always loved the architecture of this building.

    @Maria: thank you.

    @Jan: it does, yes.

    @Mari: thank you.

    @Kay: that's true.

  29. @WW: it is a lovely gallery.

    @Jennifer: I'm hoping some more tulips are showing tomorrow, as I'm planning on passing through the park again and need a few days worth of shots as a lead in! They're late this year.

    @Jan: it is a grand building.

    @Norma: I agree.

    @Klara: it would be!