Charles Rennie Mackintosh Porte Vendre
Mackintosh the Man

Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Architect, Designer, Artist  (1868 – 1928)

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born in Glasgow.  He was apprenticed to a firm of architects and his natural talent soon became apparent.  He was accepted as a student in the Glasgow School of Art where he fell in love with and married a talented fellow artist, Margaret Macdonald.


His revolutionary designs quickly earned him an international reputation. He had a holistic approach.  Mackintosh did not just design the buildings.

He designed everything that went into them including the details of their decor and furnishing. He pioneered the Modernist movement at the turn of the twentieth century and worked closely with his contemporaries in Central Europe.

The outbreak of the Great War brought the European relationship to an abrupt end and when peace returned, fashions changed and Mackintosh found himself outmoded.  In 1923 he abandoned his architectural career and went on a painting holiday with his wife Margaret to the Pyrénées Orientales where she could attend a thermal spa for treatment for her asthma.

Their holiday in France became a permanent stay and for the last four, and perhaps the happiest, years of his life, Mackintosh devoted himself to painting, developing a unique personal style of redesigning landscapes «en pleine air» which latterly were verging on surrealism.  Mackintosh had always painted.

     mackintosh watercolour painting

As a student he had won the class prize for painting, rather than architecture.  Having sole control of developing a painting from creation to completion suited his temperament better than the collaborative  processes involved in architecture.  He was a loner rather than a team player.

Today his paintings hang in international art collections around the world. Mackintosh left a legacy of revolutionary designs for buildings, furniture, textiles, stained glass, artwork and a unique style of landscape painting. 

Architect, designer and artist,
- Mackintosh's genius spanned three careers in a single lifetime.

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