Find, Learn, Price Art
Enjoy the comprehensive art database we've compiled since 1987
Membership Details
Images, sales charts, bios, signatures, 30 artist Alerts and more ...
Art auction records:  Millions of references for pricing research
Or, register for Free Alerts
To track 10 artists.

Already a member?  Sign in here

Charles MacDonald

 (1861 - 1923)
Charles Harold L MacDonald was active/lived in District Of Columbia, Virginia, Wisconsin.  Charles MacDonald is known for Portrait painter, illustrator, sculptor.

Charles MacDonald

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Charles MacDonald
The following biography is from Tim Miller:

Charles Harold L. Macdonald (Harold L. Macdonald) was born May 13 1861 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He studied in Paris with Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre and lived in Washington D.C., from 1890-1923. For sheer painterly dexterity and profundity of characterization, Harold L. Macdonald was unmatched among Washington portraitists of the period. Although his known works are few, scattered and rather inaccessible, Harold Macdonald was one of the Capital's most sought after portraitists, numbering among his sitters, Simon Newcomb, George Cortelyou, Alexander McCue and Archie Burr.

While these official portraits out of necessity emphasize likeness, they invariably are strong studies in character, solidly structured, with well-controlled tonal ranges and vigorous brushwork. These same qualities obtain in Macdonalds portrait of his good friend, the artist James Henry Moser, which is further infused by a warm personal touch and a refreshing overtness, reflective of that zest for life for which the artist was known.

Macdonald was very much a part of the close-knit Washington art community, joining the younger set of artists, including the Nichols and the Chandlee brothers and George Gibbs on sketching trips made by boat down the Potomac. Tragically, however, his bright career was devastated by a fall on the ice which resulted in the amputation of his left arm in 1914. He became derelict and lived at the Gospel Mission House until he was committed to St. Elizabeth's hospital in 1922. He died there on January 31, 1923.

This information is all from the Capital Image: Painters in Washington 1800-1915 by Cosentio and Glassie published by the Smithsonian.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Share an image of the Artist

  Full access to biographies is
  free each Friday

About  Charles MacDonald

Born:  1861 - Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Died:   1923 - Washington, District Of Columbia
Known for:  Portrait painter, illustrator, sculptor