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Charles Rennie

United Kingdom • 1868−1928
Charles Renny McIntosh (June 7, 1868, Glasgow - December 10, 1928, London) - Scottish architect, designer, colorist and artist.

Features of the artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh: McIntosh's greatest recognition came from his architectural work, including the Glasgow School of Art. His artistic approach was close to European symbolism, and his work in partnership with his wife, artist Margaret MacDonald, had a great influence on European design trends, such as modern and secession, and was highly appreciated by his contemporaries. McIntosh developed his own style: the contrast between energetic right angles and floral motifs with subtle curves (such is the McIntosh rose motif) with details of traditional Scottish architecture. In the last years of his life, Charles MacIntosh devoted himself to watercolor painting, wrote flowers and landscapes, often in collaboration with his wife.

Charles Rennie McIntosh was the fourth of eleven children and the second son of William McIntosh, the chief and chief clerk of the Glasgow City Police, and his wife Margaret Rennie. His father gave his son a decent education: the boy studied at Reed’s public school, and later at the Allan Glen Institute. Mackintosh was a student of local architect John Hutchison, in 1889 he moved to the larger firm of architects "Honeyman and Keppi" and married the daughter of one of the co-owners, Jesse Keppi. He also enrolled in evening classes at the Glasgow School of the Arts, where he studied drawing. Here, under the auspices of director Francis Newbury, he paid a lot of attention to the latest knowledge in the field of architecture and design, spending all day in the library studying specialized periodicals and learning the ideas of contemporaries. McIntosh won many student prizes and competitions, including the prestigious student trip of Alexander Thomson in 1890, which allowed him to make a tour of Italy.

The Glasgow Herald Building project approved Mackintosh as an accomplished architect. It used advanced technology, including a hydropneumatic elevator and refractory concrete floors. Charles McIntosh began experimenting with decorative forms, creating designs for furniture and metal structures, and also worked in the field of graphics. He often designed his stylized watercolors in partnership with a friend and colleague James Herbert McNair, as well as two female students, sisters Margaret and Francis MacDonald. In the 1900s, McIntosh remarried - to Margaret MacDonald; a year earlier, the marriage of James McNair and Francis MacDonald. Together, they formed the artistic association "The Group of Four" (The Four), whose overall creative style was a fusion of Celtic culture, the Japanese architectural tradition and the ideas of the Arts and Crafts movement of the English designer William Morris. The Group of Four influenced the Art Nouveau style that was born in England and became part of the artistic direction of the Glasgow School, along with the two existing collaborations of the Glasgow Boyz and Glasgow Girls.

In 1896, Mackintosh was commissioned to design a new building for the Glasgow School of Art. The building was built in two stages due to lack of funds, in the periods from 1897 to 1899 and from 1907 to 1909. The delay in construction gave McIntosh changes to the design of the building, which became an organic combination of Scottish and Japanese styles (the famous library of the Glasgow Art School) in combination with modern art nouveau trends. Contemporaries considered the building a masterpiece, and in 2010 Glasgow School of Art was recognized as the best building in the UK over the past 175 years.

The originality of the style is appreciated in Germany and Austria. Mackintosh took part in the 8th Vienna Secession, was exhibited in Turin, Moscow. Other orders for building design followed. Glasgow-born Catherine Cranston commissioned McIntosh a series of tea room design designs and gave him free rein. The artist has developed not only furniture, but also lighting devices, wall decorations and silverware. In 1904, he became a partner of Honeyman and Keppi, adding his name to the company name.

Despite success in Europe, the Mac did not receive recognition. He lost the design competition for the cathedral for the city of Liverpool (1902) and the school in Glasgow (1906), and in 1914 with his wife Margaret moved to London. The time for ambitious plans was chosen unfortunate - with the beginning of the First World War, all construction work was strictly limited.

Having implemented several minor projects, in 1923, McIntosh moved to the south of France. He left the architecture and devoted the remaining years of his life to painting, painting landscapes and flowers in watercolor. Margaret strongly supported her husband in this endeavor. The artist wrote: “Margaret MacDonald is my spirit, my other half ... We chose each other, and each gave the other what was missing. Her hand was always in my ... Oh, I had a talent - but she had a genius. We made up a couple. ” Mackintosh was interested in the relationship between artificial and natural landscapes and created a large portfolio of architectural and landscape paintings.

Charles Renny Macintosh died in London on December 10, 1928. Some architectural projects of the remarkable Scottish designer were realized after his death.
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