This week’s work of art is the holiday-themed “The Wassail,” by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Scottish watercolourist and architect, designer and sculptor. He was best known as “a designer in the Arts and Crafts movement and also the main exponent of Art Nouveau in the United Kingdom” and he had “considerable influence on European design.” Born in 1868, The Wassail was painted in 1900.
The original painting is in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Below is a detail of the center panel or section of the painting.
Wassailing is, of course, a traditional English and European custom that took place around the holidays, sometime around Christmas and in other traditions into mid-January. To read more about it, there are interesting accounts at the Hymns and Carols of Christmas, About.com, Time Travel Britain and White Dragon.
To learn more about Mackintosh, Wikipedia is a good place to start or the biography at his “official” website, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. There’s also a small Wikigallery with two dozen works and a good list of links at ArtCyclopedia.