Happy Birthday Charles Rennie Mackintosh

On the birthday of one of Britain’s most famous creative geniuses, we’re taking a visual whizz through the colours of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The Scottish architect, artist and designer (1868 – 1928) changed the face of design and art in the fusty 19th century and established himself as the leading figure of Art Nouveau and modern design in the UK. His sensational buildings drew attention from continental Europe and came to define the city of his birth, where his best-known commissions include the Glasgow School of Art (built in two phases, 1897-99 and 1907-9) and Hill House (1902-4), built for the publisher Walter Blackie in the Glasgow suburb of Helensburgh. Virtually unknown in Britain while he was alive, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work was extremely influential abroad – most notably in Vienna – and he exchanged ideas with Austrian designers such as Josef Hoffmann. He left Glasgow in 1914 having grown tired of the architecture industry, it is thought, and by 1920 he’d abandoned architecture as a career to focus his talents on watercolours, which continued to fascinate him until his death. Today he is an iconic figure, admired internationally for his contributions to architecture, art, furniture, fabrics and more.

Click on the links at the end of the images to read more about the individual pieces we’ve selected for this colour-led birthday celebration.

House for an art lover | Charles Rennie Mackintosh | The Chromologist

Charles Rennie Mackintosh | doors | The Chromologist

HillHouse interior | The Chromologist

Chair design | Charles Rennie Mackintosh | The Chromologist


Smokers cabinet | Charles Rennie Mackintosh | The Chromologist

Working Title/Artist: 1904, Charles Macintosh: Washstand, oak, tile, colored glass, lead Department: Modern Art Culture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 11 Working Date: scanned for collections

Bedroom | Charles Rennie Mackintosh| The Chromologist

Print design | Charles Rennie Mackintosh | The Chromologist


Design drawing | Charles Rennie Mackintosh | The Chromologist

Print Huntearian | Charles Rennie Mackintosh | The Chromologist

Print Design yellow | Charles Rennie Mackintosh | The Chromologist

DUPE: Design for a frieze above a mantelpiece in the hall-lounge of 78 Derngate, Northampton, for Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke

Hill House stained glass | Charles Rennie Mackintosh | The Chromologist

Willow Wood | Charles Rennie Mackintosh | The Chromologist

Image sources from the top: Glasgow’s House for an Art Lover,  Door detail, Bedroom at Hill House,  Chairs designed for Hill House, Willow chair designed for the Willow Tea Rooms, Smoker’s Cabinet from the Furniture collection at the V&AWashstand made for Hill House, Bedroom furniture from Hill House, Wave textile design, Tulip and Lattice textile designPencil and watercolour for a textile design, Furnishing fabric from the V&A Textiles and Fashion collection, Design for a frieze at 78 Dergate from the RIBA Library Drawings Collection, Hill House in Helensburgh, Willow Wood.




Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

The Chromologist 2018 | Farrow & Ball

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