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A favourite Pictish cross-slab

Object number: ROMGH.1998.134

Type: Poster

Material: Ballpoint pen, Paper, Pencil

Width: 52cm | Height: 83.8cm

Production date: 1948 - 1968

 Yes you can     No you cannot
Use the same Celtic patterns in your art and craft work Yes
Use this design for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
Commercially reproduce this object without the permission of the Copyright holder No

This drawing by Bain seems to follow his initial exploration of the Rossie Priory cross-slab design. He sets out a very detailed, interpretive copy of one side of the Pictish sculptured stone. However, his illustration does have an error. Bain mirrors the knotwork design immediately to the right of the central boss of the cross. In reality the two designs are different.

It seems his attention is once again very focused on the continuous line of the knotwork decoration. HIs notes in the margin emphasise this. So it is incongruous that in its totality the knotwork actually isn’t a single line. Bain points out where the two ends of the line appear on either side of the cross. He would use this ‘feature’ when he came to create a greetings card design based on the cross-slab.

See Bain's Celtic Art, Methods of Construction page 149 Plate 22 & page 55 Plate L

Author: Alastair Morton

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