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 Yes you can     No you cannot
View this picture on the internet for enjoyment and inspiration Yes
Share, download and use this picture No
Use the picture for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
 Yes you can     No you cannot
View this picture on the internet for enjoyment and inspiration Yes
Share, download and use this picture No
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A Pictish cross-slab

Object number: ROMGH.1998.33

Type: Poster

Material: Ballpoint pen, Paper, Pencil

Width: 53.4cm | Height: 167cm

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 huge drawing of the front of the Nigg Pictish cross-slab by George Bain is a magnificent artwork. But what is not clear is his purpose in creating it. We don’t think he used it as a teaching aid. Perhaps Bain was spurred on by a 1944 publication that included drawings of the stone. He certainly notes that there are errors in them and in other illustrators’ work. Perhaps he was trying his hand at correcting their errors.

Even so, Bain hasn’t created a wholly accurate record of the cross-slab. Instead, we think he also wanted to illustrate the design of the stone so that he could attempt to predict what was on its missing parts. His notes in the margin show he was very happy to have come up with a solution based on a continuous line.

See: Diack, FC ‘The inscriptions of Pictland. An essay on the sculptured and inscribed stones of the North-East and North of Scotland’ edited by Alexander, WM & Macdonald J in Third Spalding Club, vol 13 (1944) and
Petley C 1857 ‘A short account of some carved stones in Ross-shire’ in Archaeologica Scotica vol 4

Author: Alastair Morton

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