The Magazine

April, 1894, Page: 20

Image Dimensions: 14.7 x 11.4 cms

Page Dimensions: 31.8 x 25.6 cms


Title: The Crucifixion

Date: 1894

Inscription: Photograph of original work, 14.7 x 11.4 cm, attached to grey paper page, captioned beneath, “Frances Macdonald . / The Crucifixion”

Keywords: symbolism; figures; religious art; art nouveau

Material: Photograph

Commentary: The photograph and that on the following page depicts part of a design for a repeat pattern ‘The Crucifixion and the Ascension’ intended as a decoration for the chancel of a church. Despite the similarities of the two photographs, the symbolism on each is subtly different. On The Crucifixion Macdonald’s six angelic figures, above and below Christ on the cross, look down in lamentation. Christ wears a crown of thorns, drops of blood descend from his heart, and there is a rectangle above the cross, reminiscent of the notice proclaiming Christ as King of the Jews. The watercolour from which the photograph was taken is now in the collection of the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow. In 1894 it was submitted by the Glasgow School of Art as an entry for the annual National Competition of schools of art, but failed to gain a prize. It was also one of the works by the Macdonald sisters which first brought their work to the attention of the public in the 1894 Glasgow School of Art Club exhibition.