How Mack­in­tosh Four took Europe’s art world by storm

Glas­gow in­flu­ence ‘vi­tal to cre­ation of mas­ter­piece’

The Herald Magazine - - ARTS | FEATURE -

MAR­I­ANNE TAY­LOR

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

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