The Magazine

April, 1894, Page: 21

Image Dimensions: 14.4 x 10.8 cms

Page Dimensions: 31.8 x 25.6 cms


Title: and Ascension

Date: 1894

Inscription: Photograph of original work, 14.4 x 10.8 cm, attached to grey paper page, captioned beneath, “Frances Macdonald – . / and Ascension – .”

Keywords: symbolism; figures; religious art; art nouveau

Material: Photograph

Commentary: The photograph and that on the preceding 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 Ascension Macdonald’s six angelic figures above and below Christ on the cross look up in adoration, Christ has a halo around his head instead of a crown of thorns and above him is a stylized plant form, possibly symbolising new life. 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 into 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.