Mackintosh (CRM) was a well known Scottish architect and interior designer. In 1924 his career as an architect and designer came to an end and he became a full-time painter. His watercolour paintings were often being neglected. In 2004 Scottish Government sponsored an exhibition of Mackintosh paintings in Port-Vendres. It was a great success and led to the creation of a Mackintosh Trail which placed reproduction of 30 of his paintings in situ where they were painted.
This painting Collioure was the first I encountered while walking to Collioure from Port-Vendres before I had any knowledge of CRM’s time in France, even though I had come across his flower study watercolour paintings on the Hunterian Art Gallery online catalogue. I was struck by the beauty of the water. The water was stylish with bold strokes. The buildings in the far side were accurately depicted. We can still recognise most of them. Those houses still stood there today. We came across more CRM watercolour reproduction when we walked about Port-Vendres. They inspired me to hunt down the CRM centre at Port-Vendres.
The centre is very small, situated at the Dome Garden located at the far end of the Place de l’obelisque, without any mark or sign of its existence. However, the exhibition was very well put together. The first was a short video introduction of Port Vendres being a busy major departure port from France to Algeria in the 1920’s. Even all paintings were reproductions they were in good quality. The best aspect was that these paintings were accompanied with photographs in the 1920’s.
Below are some images we took at the exhibition. I love the combination of accurate architectural representation of buildings and highly stylish geographical representation of the landscape. The landscape often taken from high vintage point so elements were spaced out better and you have the feeling that you can actually walk inside the painting. I also love the way water reflections were handled.
Details of the trail and exhibition can be found from the Port Vendres tourist website.