Monday, 7 January 2013

Bliss Culture : Poetic Beauty

Silver Apples of the Moon - Margaret MacDonald 

This glorious work of art was completed by Scottish Art Nouvoue Artist Margaret MacDonald in the early 1900's. It was inspired by the enchanting poem of W.B. Yeats titled The Song of Wandering Aengus The artwork depicts an angelic looking girl with human features from a mystifying ethereal world as she stands before the entranced Aengus. I am really drawn to the use of blue and silver to depict the elements of water and ethereal references. I find the face of the girl to be extremely captivating and wonder about the emergence of the bejewelled maiden with her ghostly hands. As an artist Margaret was particularly drawn to symbolic art with Celtic origins. She regularly explored human relationships with nature leaving her art to be heavily influenced with tones of mysticism. Margaret worked in the mediums of metal and fabric and creatively used gesso to add a three dimensional aspect to her work.

Above is The May Queen By Margaret MacDonald and below is The Wassail by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Both are  pencil and watercolour on tracing paper on a gesso covered board and were completed in 1900, the year of the artists marriage.

I recently discovered that Margaret was the wife of the famed Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the pioneering Glasgow architect, interior decorator and painter. Mackintosh was known for his design of the Glasgow school of arts building and it's Art Deco styling which was labelled the Glasgow Style. From their earliest of days the romantic and professional partnership of Margaret and Charles was deeply synchronised and it was little know just how extensively the work of his wife Margaret contributed to his success. Mackintosh though was insistent in making this fact known. In a letter he wrote to Margaret at the end of his life he said; You must remember that in all my architectural efforts, you have been half if not three quarters of them. What a beautiful dedication to the recognition and contribution of the creative work of the love of his life to his artistic success. An attitude that is somewhat rare in the world of art. 

Information Source: Christie's, BBC, pinterest & Google images

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