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Key pattern diagonals

Object number: ROMGH.1998.19

Type: Poster

Material: Ballpoint pen, Paper, Pencil

Width: 63.4cm | Height: 53.2cm

Production date: 1946 - 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 is one of many large posters that George Bain drew to show the complexities of specific Celtic art designs. We think they were used to illustrate his lectures on Celtic art and contemporary craftwork.

He chose to use ballpoint pens on the posters, for both the outlines and colouring-in. But ballpoint pens weren’t on general sale until after the 2nd World War. So the posters are from his time as a promoter of Celtic art rather than when he was a school teacher.

Here he shows how to construct a panel of key pattern from the Book of Durrow. At the top is a drawing of the basic unit for the overall pattern. Below, from right to left, Bain shows how the basic lines can be developed. The final black key pattern is in two vertical panels on one of the Book’s gospel pages. The originals are only 4cm long. However, Bain’s poster drawing is about 14 times that length.

Author: Alastair Morton

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