I adore Mackintosh's drawing style and can stare at his drawings and sketches and paintings for hours and hours - so finding this site is very special for me!
The Northern Italian Sketchbook is a comprehensive website, created by Glasgow Arts Scool and funded by The Arts and Humanities Research Council [AHRC], offering:
- Browse the sketchbook
- Follow the journey using our interactive maps - these show the route he covered on his tour of Italy and also how the northern Italian sketchbook fits in with this
- Search by keyword and theme
- find out More about the sketchbook
Follow the links (above) to explore Northern Italy through the eyes of the celebrated Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) during his sketching tour of the Continent in 1891. Compare his superb sketches with present-day photographs from the same locations, and retrace his steps with our interactive 19th century Baedeker maps
- Verona (11-14 June);
- Mantua (14 June);
- Cremona (14-15 June);
- Brescia (16 June);
- Bergamo (17 June);
- Lecco (18 June);
- Cadenabbia and Lake Como (19-25 June);
- Como (26-27 June);
Como, Cathedral, studies of window and two finials
Charle Rennie Mackintosh - Northern Italian Sketchbook
- Milan (28 June-6 July);
- Pavia (7 July-?);
- Certosa di Pavia ( probably several days around 12 July);
- Paris and Chateau d'Ecouen (late July?);
- Antwerp (late July?).
If you use the search facility, it also shows you photos of the place today.
Most of the sketches are in pencil and some are now a tad faint. However there are a few where colour has been added in watercolour. He doesn't draw people - he draws buildings and most particularly he draws bits of buildings. He's working out how the structure and ornamentation work.
What I like about is as a facsimile sketchbook is it shows you exactly what a real sketchbook looks like - even one kept by somebody who is technically very proficient at drawing. It has all the unfinished sketches and the ones that went wrong and the bits of this and that which make it very real for me. It's also very apparent, as one might expect, that he loves drawing architectural details. He fills pages with unpicking and reassembling the twirly bits!