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Part Seen : Imagined Part. An exploration of the work of C.R. Mackintosh in the context of fin-de-siècle art and philosophy

Part 1 Dissertation 2015
Edward Ponti
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture | UK
‘We find, in the verse of a poet, “the record of the best and happiest moments of the best and happiest minds”. But this is not enough – we desire to know the man. We desire to learn how much of the sensibility and imagination that animates his poetry was founded on heartfelt passion, purity, elevation of character; whether the pathos and the fire emanated from transitory inspiration and a power of weaving words touchingly; or whether the poet acknowledged the might of his art in his inmost soul.’
Mary Shelley, ‘In Defense of Poetry’

Exploring symbolism and allusion in the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the peculiarities of fin-de-siècle art and intellectualism, it is shown how these bear directly on his oeuvre. Particular emphasis is placed on alternative philosophic and mythographic readings which emphasise the notion of a collective (un)conscious. Relating this to Mackintosh’s ideologies - expressed in his limited written output - the accumulated material is deployed to analyse specific features of his architectural work, revealing how the context explored is inseparable from his building. The final chapter focuses on previously unexplored theatrical elements in his work, a perspective that helps to condense thoughts explored throughout the essay.

Edward Ponti

Margaret Stewart
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