A bit about Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Posted by @ celticgoods on

Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a Scottish architect, designer, water colorist and artist. He had a unique artistic approach and is widely recognized as the greatest Scottish architect and designer of the 20th century. Within his hometown of Glasgow, you can still see the many impressions his talents left on the city.

One of Mackintosh's most well known designs surrounds the Glasgow School of Art; he was commissioned as a result of winning a competition for the design of a new building for the school in 1896. That is just one of several throughout Scotland.

In addition to the world renowned Glasgow School of Art, you can see several of his other architectural designs such as The Lighthouse,The Hill House, numerous tea rooms and many other buildings.

Mackintosh influenced not only designs in architecture; he was equally recognized for his artistic contributions to the design of art as well as furniture. The style Mackintosh helped to create was a blend of Celtic and Japanese influences which was known as the "Glasgow Style." This style was established in collaboration with three other people - Herbert MacNair and two sisters, Margaret and Frances MacDonald. Known as "The Four", the "Glasgow Style" was displayed throughout the world. Margaret MacDonald and Mackintosh fell in love and eventually married in 1900. They initially met at the old Glasgow School of Art in 1892 and the two often collaborated. Her work is periodically displayed alongside his.  

Commissions for his work lasted a number of years but began to decrease with the approach of 1914. Not feeling he had gained the notoriety that he should have in Glasgow, the couple relocated to southern England. It was here where Mackintosh worked began greatly working with botanical watercolor designs. In Suffolk, he enjoyed walking along the coastline at night, having a love of the sea. These lantern lit evening walks, in addition to his strong Glaswegian accent which was not easily understood by all of the locals, created suspicion within some of the residents of Suffolk that he was German. With the first World War underway, this suspicion led the Mackintosh's arrest in August of 1915 for suspicion of being a German spy. He spent several days in jail and when his wife returned from out of town, she had to convince his jailers that he was in fact Scottish and he was ultimately released.

Afterwards, Mackintosh did receive additional commissions, which were mostly focused on interior design and construction. These designs were representative of his latest style of using bold colors with geometric motifs. In 1923, the couple moved again to the South of France where Mackintosh spent the final years of his life painting.

In 1927, Margaret traveled to London for medical treatment which lasted over the course of several weeks. During this time, Mackintosh, alone in France, wrote a series of letters, near daily, to Margaret. He called these letters the "Chronycle." These letters between Charles and Margaret exemplified a deep and very real love, admiration and concern for one another.   

Mackintosh returned to London in 1928 and there he succumbed to his battle with tongue cancer. Margaret passed five years later, in 1933.

Throughout his life, and while a highly accomplished designer and artist, Mackintosh only designed one piece of jewelry, which was for his wife. We celebrate the life and legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh through The Mackintosh Collection. This collection features Mackintosh inspired designs on hook and stud earrings, bracelets and pendant necklaces.


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