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On the trot

Object number: ROMGH.1999.31

Type: Sketch

Material: Paper, Pencil

Width: 32.9cm | Height: 20.2cm

Production date: 1920 - 1947

 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
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In these sketches Bain is comparing how Pictish horses and riders are carved on several different Pictish stones. He chose ones from Meigle, Migvie and Edderton, reflecting that Pictish culture once stretched from Perthsire to Ross-shire and beyond. He also slips in a stag with similarly arranged legs to those of the horses. It is on an incised cross-slab from Scoonie in Fife. Quite what the fish from the Book of Kells is doing here is a mystery!

This group is of particular interest. Later, Bain drew the riders and horses more carefully, so that it could be used as an illustration in Methods of Construction. In the book he removes the stag and the fish, adds a sixth horse from the Edderton cross-slab. He also includes three small extracts from the Book of Kells.

The ‘attitude’ of ridden horses on Pictish sculpture looks rather exaggerated. But we know from studies that the sculptors captured very accurately the relative movement of all four legs when horses are trotting.

See Bain's Celtic Art, Methods of Construction page 130 Plate B.4

Author: Alastair Morton

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