|John Roderick Dempster Mackenzie (1865-1941)|
Westminster Bridge by Lamplight.
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated 1909.
12 x8 inches.
John Roderick Dempster Mackenzie (1865-1941):
Born in London, Roderick Mackenzie is considered to be an American artist having spent much of his life in Mobile, Alabama where his family immigrated in 1872. He was a significant painter, sculptor, mural maker and printmaker. He trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusettes from 1884 to 1886 and then in 1889 went to Paris where he studied at the Academie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. At the request of art dealers in Calcutta Mackenzie set out for India in 1892 to produce paintings of tigers and jungles that were popular at the time. He was well connected in official circles and received significant commissions from the English Viceroy and the Indian government and was invited to join hunts with the Maharajah of Cooch Behar and the Nawab of Bahawalpur. The Indian adventure came to an end in 1906 when he moved first to Paris and then to London where he resided from 1908-1913. Mackenzie departed for New York in 1913 and eventually returned to Mobile, Alabama where he carried out a number of portrait commissions and started an art school. During World War 1 he executed some propaganda projects for the United States government. In 1920 he became a member of the American Federation of the Arts and was appointed to the art commission of the state of Alabama. Further public commissions followed, particularly for large scale murals of industrial scenes which brought him wide acclaim. Trained in the academic tradition of the 19th century, Roderick Mackenzie combined those skills with a modernists' desire to depict the events of his own time.