Catagorizing of Mackintosh

Here at Nomad we are loving the new Clydsdale Bank Mackintosh note however we were a little surprised to see the the Architects’ Journals catagorise our great Scottish hero as an Art Nouveau artist and architect. The Mackintoshes, (Margaret MacDonald’s influence is always sadly underplayed)  more decorative interior details and paintings do draw on many of the same references as Art Nouveau.  However the great man’s architecture is very different. For us the architect’s work is distinguished by its ‘Scottishness’ and perhaps this is the main difference between Mackintosh and the largely French style of Art Nouveau  The influence of the Scottish landscape and the baronial castle, which is particularly evident in Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building sets his work apart.  Yes – the building appears to grow out of the hill, but in a monumental thrusting manner unlike the sinewy fluid buildings of the Art Nouveau (typified by the Guimard’s Paris Metro stations )  We are not sure ourselves how to catagorise Mackintosh’s work and would be happy to get some feedback on this.  In the meantime if the Architects’ Journal would like to give us one of these splendid Clydsdale Bank notes we would be happy to forgive them!

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