Beginnings - Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Early Sketches

Beginnings - Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Early Sketches

Elaine Grogan

Language: English

Pages: 177

ISBN: 0750654252

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Together with the National Library of Ireland, Architectural Press presents seventy previously unpublished drawings by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The identification in the National Library of Ireland of three sketchbooks, from which these drawings have been selected, represents a significant addition to the body of early drawings by Mackintosh. The sketches date from a crucial period in the young man's development, spanning his highly successful student years and the beginnings of his professional career. Each of the three sketchbooks covers an area central to his growth as an artist: the architecture of his native Scotland, an important scholarship journey in Italy and, Mackintosh's first love and greatest influence, the study of plants and growing things.

Essentially private, these little known and unique works provide privileged access to significant moments in the artist's intellectual and emotional life. In this book Elaine Grogan attempts to take them out of the library display-case and bring them to life in the hands of the reader. She invites us to look over Mackintosh's shoulder on his early tentative steps towards fulfilment as a creative genius. Connections are traced, both backwards in time to his training and forwards to his great successes and eventual bitter eclipse.

* Gain a new understanding of a crucial period in Charles Rennie Mackintosh's development through these unpublished sketches
* Connect his sketch books of Scotland, Italy and botany to later great works
* Be inspired by these private, yet significant sketches

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backwards and forwards as he returned to pages previously left blank, skipped pages, only to return again. He also began to fill spaces on pages already used. In the crowded and narrow streets of Florence his use of the sketchbook began to take on an intensity as pages were crammed and it became the overflowing cornucopia of images it now is. Often a page was added to over 53 several days and without regard for unity of scale. While Mackintosh’s juxtaposition of work within his sketchbook may

Palazzo Agostini in Pisa.The link between a series of severely elegant Florentine mansions featured in the 55 sketchbook is, perhaps, their design by architects in the circle of Giuliano da Sangallo (1445–1516), a selection that may reflect the recommendations of Anderson (Plates 29–31, 33–35). One might also wonder whether Mackintosh had seen the sketchbooks of Sangallo on one of his three visits to the Vatican Museum.17 Those drawings would likely have appealed to Mackintosh, who, like

period between Mackintosh’s completion of the last of these drawings and their reappearance in 1991, much of his work vanished. When the sketchbooks came to light, their history, including the circumstances of their donation to the National Library of Ireland, had also been lost. On the basis of inscriptions added to each of the sketchbooks at various points in their history and by their several owners, together with circumstantial evidence, it has been possible, at least partially, to

Papers. Wendlebury: White Cockade Publishing, p. 224. 8. See Rawson, G. (summer 1993). Mackintosh, Jessie Keppie and the Immortals, some new material. CRM Society Newsletter, Vol. 62, pp. 4–6. 9. Crawford, A. (1995). Charles Rennie Mackintosh. London:Thames and Hudson Ltd, p. 24. 10. Mackintosh. In Robertson, P., editor (2001). The Chronycle, Letters of C.R. Mackintosh to Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. Glasgow: Hunterian Art Gallery, p. 72. 11. My thanks to Dr Matthew Jebb, National Botanic

and Keppie, a major part of whose practice was the restoration of old, and the design of new Gothic Revival, churches. However, if it was his employer’s interests that directed Mackintosh’s studies, much of his focus in this private sketchbook had a personal bias. Along with Ruskinian Figure 4 – Details, Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling 17 well-defined specifics of decoration or construction, ‘bits’ that might prove useful in some future project, a number of these sketches of Gothic church

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