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Digital Subscriptions > History Scotland > Jul - Aug 2019 > Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland

Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland

Dr Patrick Watt provides an in-depth review of the National Museum of Scotland’s new exhibition that considers changing views of the tartan and bagpipes so beloved of modern-day global audiences
George Romney, Jane Maxwell, duchess of Gordon with her son, the marquis of Huntly, c.1778

“Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic The steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar”

Lachin y Gair, Lord Byron, 1807

The last Jacobite rising was brought to an end at the battle of Culloden in 1746. Highland Scotland was tainted by rebellion – the tartan, bagpipes and weaponry of traditional clan society remained symbolic of a barbaric and dangerous part of the country. From the outside, even the mountainous landscape was viewed by many as hostile and remote. A century later, Queen Victoria was captivated by her ‘dear paradise’ at Balmoral, and the same elements – tartan, bagpipes and wild landscapes – had become established as the enduring international symbols of Scotland. How did this change occur?

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About History Scotland

Five reasons not to miss July/August History Scotland * 19 archaeology projects to enjoy this summer * BRAND NEW research on the life of Margaret Tudor * Exclusive curator preview of the major new exhibition Wild and Majestic and National Museums Scotland * BONUS CONTENT Videos, interview * The unexpected Darien hero - Captain Robert Pincarton