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Object name: frieze
Title: The Seven Princesses. Frieze after a fairy tale by Maurice Maeterlinck for the music salon in the Warndorfer House (original-language title)
design: Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh, Glasgow, 1906

Material: Gesso, mother of pearl, glass paste
Technique: pastiglia, chalk priming, stucco
height: 152 cm
length: 594 cm

Inventory number: MAL 348
Acquisition: purchase
Description: Together with her husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, her sister Frances Macdonald McNair, and the latter’s husband James Herbert McNair, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh formed the artists’ group The Four, which was to have a strong influence on the Scottish school of Art Nouveau. MacDonald exhibited at the Vienna Secession in 1900, as a result of which she personally influenced the works of Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann. Her gesso panel The Seven Princesses, which the artist designed in 1902 for the music room of Fritz Waerndorfer’ Viennese villa, numbers among her most outstanding achievements. This panel contains a depiction after a literary model, Maurice Maeterlinck’s play The Seven Princesses: the princesses await the prince, who—upon arriving—finds the seventh princess dead, and all of them, turned deathly pale, bend over the dead princess and weep mutely. The main motif in this image is that of the eyes, out of which flow stylized tears. Inset stones and shells give rise to a relief-like effect. (Pokorny-Nagel, Kathrin)
Department: Library and Works on Paper Collection
See more:
MAK publication: Alte und Moderne Kunst XXVI (1981 / Heft 177)
MAK Blog: Die sieben Prinzessinnen. Ein Beitrag zum 100. Todestag von Marcel Proust
MAK Blog: Der Waerndorfer-Fries in der MAK-Schausammlung WIEN 1900
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