Completed British 20th C, except portraits, Scotland: Artists and Subjects 7 Which Highland Strath is this?

Highland Strath
Topic: Subject or sitter

Could anyone identify this location for us please?

Groam House Museum, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to identify this Highland valley for the collection.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.


Malcolm Fowles,

Is there any clue to the painting's date? If not on the painting, then how about its natural 'place' within Bain's other works in the collection? To me the style most resembles the collection's "Highland Picnic" dated 1920-30.

Does the collection know anything about Bain's painting on his travels around Celtic sites, and the dates of his fieldwork? As an astonished admirer of his book on Celtic knotwork, I imagine him as a man possessed and unlikely to mix the two disciplines.

Wikipedia names three periods of residence: pre-WWII (Edinburgh, ...?); post-war to retirement in 1946 (Kirkaldy), and 1946 to 1952 (Drumnadrochit). The background mountains suggest the last period to me, but I don't know the inland terrain of Fife.

Andrew Chamberlain,

Probably not Fife, but the topography appears consistent with the region to the west of Loch Ness.

Groam House Museum,

Dear Malcolm,
I am afraid that we don't have any clues as to the painting's date. Your question about mixing painting with his visits to Pictish stones is an interesting one, and again, I am afraid we know very little about this at present.
Best wishes,

David Bell,

Probably completely wrong but it looks a wee bit like Glen Alladale.

Groam House Museum,

Dear David,
An interesting suggestion - do you have any photos?
Best wishes,

The consensus here seems to suggest the period in Bain’s career when he was living at Drumnadrochit, from where journeys north in the Alladale direction would be possible. Remembering that DY Cameron painted in the area around Loch Ness, I looked for mountainous configurations and found similar (but not the same) ones. I cannot help feeling we need a game warden from the area to tell us exactly what we are looking at. Someone involved in geological survey of the area would also help.
Since there has been no recent posting I do not think the art detectives can take this much further. The recommendation is therefore to conclude this discussion.