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The Bagpipes Graphics section of this web site was one of its original features, waaaay back in 1999. Since then, we've added some graphic-based features elsewhere on the site, such as the Scan of the Month (where a super high-resolution graphic is posted that can be printed in frameable quality) and our popular Weird Bagpipes and Odd Pipers pages. Meanwhile, this section has been a bit neglected, while in the background our collection of graphics, both digital and physical, has been growing. So, it's time for a complete update.|
On the following pages there are several hundred graphics divided into eight sections (five on line at the moment, four to follow). We don't know a lot about the origin of many of these images - they tend to just float our way, and we simply don't have time to do a lot of research on them. So our annotations concern content more than provenance - but if anybody cares to fill us in, we'll happily post further information about the images. We'll also try to answer questions as possible. The images are each identified with a number - please refer to that when writing to us about them.
There are a couple of other web sites with large bagpipe image collections - most notable and well worth a long visit is Aron Garceau's Bagpipe Iconography Page. You'll see some of the same images on both that site and ours, but many are on only one or the other. You may also find the same image on both sites but at a different size and/or quality.
Bagpipe iconography is a critical element in the study of these instruments' history, and even in the revival of extinct varieties. Much of what we know about early forms of bagpipes and their distribution comes from images printed, drawn, engraved, painted, carved and even worked up in stained glass. Very little was written about bagpipes, what with them being heathen peasant instruments of no interest to those who purchased or commissioned written works, and surviving early instruments are just about non-existent.
But paintings and drawings aren't exactly common either, for the same reasons, and can have their own problems. Artists often didn't understand bagpipes, so the accuracy of depictions is always suspect, and sometimes obviously off the mark. The exceptions are usually from artists known for accurate renditions of other objects, and another clue regarding accuracy is the appearance of the same pipe in multiple paintings by different artists.
The images presented in this collection are, as far as we know, all in the public domain. We therefore make no copyright claim on them, and as far as we are concerned you are free to use them as you wish. If we have inadvertently posted an image that is copyrighted, we will remove or credit it upon notification.