Charles Rennie Mackintosh

A Yew Tree at Night

1913
Best known as an architect and designer of Art Nouveau interiors, Charles Rennie Mackintosh also produced accomplished watercolours. In this beautifully textured drawing, he has covered the surface with a dense network of lines and ink blotches, giving an almost Abstract Expressionist effect. A scattering of red dots describes the distinctive seed berries of the yew. Native to the UK, the yew is richly symbolic. With its poisonous berries, remarkable longevity and potential size, it represents variously death and immortality. Indeed, the year 1913 proved to be a trying one for Mackintosh, as he dissolved his architecture partnership and found it difficult to gain commissions on his own.
Title
A Yew Tree at Night
Date
1913
Medium
Drawing
Materials
watercolour and gouache with pen, brush and brown ink on wove paper
Dimensions
28.3 x 11.8 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Gift of an anonymous donor, 2010
Accession number
43500