How Mackintosh Four took Europe’s art world by storm
Glasgow influence ‘vital to creation of masterpiece’
IT is one of the most famous images in Western art, a beautiful depiction of two lovers wrapped in an intense and elaborate embrace. Gustav Klimt’s Art Nouveau masterpiece The Kiss (see Page 67) still has the ability to captivate and disturb, just as it did in Vienna in 1908 when it was first exhibited and caused a sensation. But it may not have been painted at all had it not been for the influence of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his creative circle, according to one expert.
The modern style being created in architecture and design by Mackintosh and his close associates in Glasgow in the late 1890s and early 1900s was being feted across Europe at a time when few in the UK recognised its significance. And, following positive reviews in German and Austrian art magazines, Mackintosh, his designer wife Margaret Macdonald, her sister Frances Macdonald and her husband Herbert McNair were invited to show at the eighth Vienna Secession