The National Galleries of Scotland has notched up its highest ever number of visitors and has reported passing the two million mark for the first time in its history.
Blockbuster shows featuring work by David Bailey, MC Escher, Lee Miller and Roy Lichtenstein were among the biggest draws throughout the course of 2015.
We are absolutely thrilled that visits have now surpassed two million for the first time in our history.John Leighton, Director-General
Visitor numbers rose 12.2 per cent in the space of a year across the national attractions in the Edinburgh - the Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
The overall tally of 2,148,242 been revealed ahead of work getting underway next year on £20 million overhaul of the main Scottish National Gallery complex on The Mound.
The long-awaited project, which will radically improve how highlights from the main Scottish collection are displayed, will create a new main entrance looking onto Princes Street Gardens and extend an existing precinct.
Last year’s exhibitions devoted to American artist Lichtenstein and Dutch artist Escher have been credited with visitor numbers soaring more than 40 per cent in the space of 12 months.
The Bailey exhibition feature more than 300 photographs and material from the legendary photographers archives, while the Lee Miller show explored her relationship with Pablo Picasso.
Other shows to open last year included Modern Scottish Women, the first major celebration of female artists staged by the National Galleries.
John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that visits have now surpassed two million for the first time in our history.
“This result reflects a growing interest in our collections, exhibitions and activities from local, national and international visitors and, as one of Scotland’s leading cultural institutions, we hope to build on this success in years to come.
“Our focus will remain on improving and promoting our world-class collection, engaging with the public in new and exciting ways and developing both the strength and breadth of our yearly cultural programme.”