An important but neglected aspect of the art of the Scottish Gàidhealtachd is the cover of J.F.Campbell's Popular Tales of the West Highlands.
The first volume was published in 1860. The cover, probably the work of Campbell himself, is an innovative adaptation of West Highland Sculpture from before the Reformation.
The quality of the design is all the more appropriate when one realises that Campbell helped to establish the very notion of Celtic Art as an academic category. He used it in volume four of his Popular Tales of the West Highlands, published in 1862. As Campbell writes: ‘It may be new to many to hear of “Celtic art”, but nevertheless it is classed [as such] in the Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones, who is an acknowledged authority on such matters.’ [John Francis Campbell (1862) Popular Tales of the West Highlands, Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, p. 382.]