Saturday, 15 September 2012

the sun of indifference

I've always loved these two paintings by Charles Rennie MacIntosh:

The other day I was looking at them again, and I noticed the text down either side. The first one says:

The tree of personal effort. The sun of indifference. 

The second one says:

The tree of influence.  The tree of importance. The sun of cowardice.

The commentary in the catalogue that I took these images from says the following:

From the 1896 issue of The Magazine. The exact meaning of the symbolism of this work, and its companion, The Tree of Influence, has eluded all commentators on Mackintosh's early watercolours. It seems possible that it relates to discussions held by the students, as several of the drawings in The Magazine relate to topical student causes and beliefs, but it is equally possible that it was just as unintelligible to even the small clique who read The Magazine.

Strange thing. For me there's meaning in these two sets of ideas as clear as day.....


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