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The Glasgow School of Art Glasgow style With digital objects
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A Pond

Bound in the November 1894 edition of 'The Magazine'. "It must have been something like this watercolour.... that evoked the 'critics from foreign parts' (as reported by Gleeson White in The Studio, pp88-9) to deduce 'the personality of the Misses MacDonald from their works' and see them as 'middle-ages sisters, flat footed, with projecting teeth and long past matrimony... gaunt, unlovely females'. Gleeson White who visited Glasgow to see the Mackintosh group was pleasantly surprised to meet two laughing comely girls scarce out of their teens." (MacLaren Young).

MacNair, Frances Macdonald

Autumn

Bound in volume, The Magazine, November 1894. 'Behind a stylised tree stands another of Mackintosh's mysterious female figures, but this is the first one to appear that is not meticulously drawn. Only the head is shown in any detail, and the shape of the body is hidden by a voluminous cloak from which not even its limbs appear. This figure was to be repeated many times, becoming more and more stereotyped until, with the banners designed for the Turin Exhibition in 1902, the head is the only recognisably human part of a figure with a twelve-foot long, pear shaped torso. In 1895-96, Mackintosh was to develop this drawing into a poster for the Scottish Musical Review (Howarth, p1, 9F). The same cloaked figure appears with similar formal emblems at the ends of the branches of the bush.' (Roger Billcliffe).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

Cabbages in an Orchard

From The Magazine, April 1894. The long text by Mackintosh which accompanies this watercolour in The Magazine (reproduced in full in Billcliffe's catalogue) suggests that he had already encountered public hostility to his work, possibly even from fellow students, on the grounds of incomprehensibility.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

The Descent of Night

Appears in The Magazine, April 1894. 'The central figure is based upon that used in the 1893 design for a diploma for the GSA and like that in 'The Harvest Moon', has wings like an angel. Here, however, she appears naked and her outstretched arms and hair merge and are transformed into barren tree-like forms. These descend to the horizon behind which the sun is gradually disappearing under the feet of the winged figure. From the bottom of the picture, and directly beneath the sun, rises a flight of menacing birds. They are presumably nocturnal birds of prey and they seem to be flying directly towards the viewers. This is one of Mackintosh's earliest uses of this strange bird, which was to become more stylised and to appear in many different forms, in several media in his oeuvre.' (Roger Billcliffe).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie

The Tree of Personal Effort

From The Magazine, Spring 1896. Inscribed: The Tree of Personal Effort, The Sun of Indifference, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, January 1895.' The exact meaning of the symbolism of this work, and its companion, 'The Tree of Influence' has eluded all commentators on Mackintosh's early water-colours. The obvious source of the symbolism is nature, and Mackintosh here reaches his most extreme distortion of organic forms.' (Roger Billcliffe).

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie