From Thomas Hamilton to contemporary artists Tom Normand traces the 200 year history of the Royal Scottish Academy. Featuring both men and women, short summaries precede each reproduction and orient the reader to particular points of interest within each art work. The artist's history is related side by side with that of the Academy and, as such, they complement descriptions of the paintings.
The book chronologically captures different periods as they influenced the style of what was produced in the Academy. Looking forward Normand states that `the Academy, in its history, has been a vital part of that international role, freely exhibiting the newest and the best of modern art and respecting the multi-dimensional approaches of contemporary art'. It is this vitality in the Scottish art scene that will sustain its visual culture in the future and place it on the international stage.