Ben Peach's Scotland — a biography

Landscape sketches by a Victorian geologist

Peach as an artist

Animal picture drawn by Ben Peach

Animal picture drawn by Ben Peach

Animal picture drawn by Ben Peach

There was another facet of the genius of Ben Peach implicit in much of what has already been said. He was a very good artist in the romantic Victorian manner. His field notebooks and the backs of his field maps are covered with monochrome paintings in brush and ink, a few watercolour paintings and several sketches in both pen and pencil. His love for mountains and trees is clearly demonstrated in the many scenic views exhibited in the Scottish headquarters of the British Geological Survey. In these, aesthetic sense is combined with geological insight. Comparing the pictures with modern photographs shows that Peach took little artistic licence; and never enough to make the landscapes unrecognizable to those who are familiar with the scenery of the North-west Highlands. He was a compulsive artist, for his notebooks contain, in addition to the landscapes, many sketches of any other things he saw around him, and cows, sheep, cats, dogs and people are portrayed often with a mischievous sense of humour. His drawings number over two hundred, and this collection depicts a tour of the North-west Highlands and the Southern Uplands as seen through the eyes of a great man — a well loved man and a well respected geologist. This precious legacy which has come down to us gives a greater insight than all the many eulogies into the real Benjamin Neeve Peach.

This text is derived from the booklet written by Angela Anderson and published by the Institute of Geological Sciences, 1970.