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 Charles Harold L MacDonald  (1861 - 1923)

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Lived/Active: District Of Columbia/Virginia/Wisconsin      Known for: Portrait painter, illustrator, sculptor

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Harold L. MacDonald is primarily known as Charles Harold L MacDonald

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Charles Harold L MacDonald
An example of work by Harold L. MacDonald
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
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.

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