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The albums of 2013

Vikings!

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

(January 18-May 12)

The stereotype of pillaging warriors in horned helmets has undergone some revision in recent years, thanks to major archaeological discoveries. Here, 500 treasures borrowed from the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm cast further light on a fascinating period of history.

David Batchelor: Flatlands

Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh

(May 4-July 14)

The Dundee-born artist specialises in sculptural installations, often using illuminated lightboxes and found objects. This exhibition, however, concentrates on the two-dimensional roots of his work – drawings, photographs and paintings that shimmer with synthetic colour.

Scotland And Venice

Palazzo Pisano, Venice

(June 1-November 30)

For the sixth time, Scotland will have its own presence at the prestigious Venice Biennale, with The Common Guild having been given the task of curating projects by Duncan Campbell, Hayley Tompkins and Corin Sworn.

Man Ray: Portraits

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

(June 22-September 8)

Photography features strongly at the SNPG this year, but this – the first major museum retrospective of Man Ray's portrait work – could be the scene-stealer. More than 100 works have been pulled in from institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Mary, Queen Of Scots

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

(June 28-November)

Fascination with this most troubled of monarchs has never ebbed, and this exhibition uses jewellery, documents, portraits and other artefacts to examine the woman behind the myth.

Sister Corita Kent

Dundee Contemporary Arts

(July 20-September 22)

The American artist, who taught at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, was hugely influential in screenprinting processes. Here her work will be shown alongside that of contemporary artists inspired by her.

Witches And Wicked Bodies

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

(July 27-November 3)

With five centuries of art to draw upon – from Albrecht Durer to Paula Rego – this exhibition might do more than depict the changing face of witchcraft over 500 years. It could even provide a visual commentary on how different eras have reacted to religion and feminine sexuality.

Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics Of Man

The Queen's Gallery, Holyrood, Edinburgh

(August 2-November 10)

Leonardo da Vinci revolutionised the art world with his knowledge of human anatomy. Some of this was gained from attending autopsies at the University of Pavia in 1510-11, and his resulting manuscript forms the centre of this exhibition, including 240 drawings of bone and muscle.

Allan Ramsay

The Hunterian, Glasgow

(September 13-January 5)

Allan Ramsay's art played a vital role in the Scottish Enlightenment, capturing some of the key figures of the era in oil. Ramsay's political leanings are reflected in the written documents that accompany the paintings on show.

Artist Rooms

Various venues & dates

(For details: http://www.nationalgalleries.org/collection/artist-rooms/)

The series of touring exhibitions of works gifted to the nation at cost price by collector Anthony d'Offay continues to bring world-class contemporary art to the more remote corners of the map, including this year Galashiels, Paxton House near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Falkirk, Findhorn – and a collection of work by Louise Bourgeois comes to the more obvious Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.

While a string of Turner Prize victories and nominations has pushed Scotland to the frontline of contemporary art, recent exhibitions by some of the country's most famous painters – Bellany, Blackadder, Cadell, Peploe – have deepened our sense of legacy. Scotland has also proved, through the likes of Symbolist Landscapes and Picasso And Modern British Art, that it can play host to masterpieces by the biggest names in art history.

There is no Glasgow International Festival this year, but 2013 has officially been designated the Year Of Natural Scotland, so you can be sure that the dramatic sea scenes and landscapes that have featured on canvas or inspired sculptures over the centuries will be brought into special focus.

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