St George’s by Emma Fordyce Macrae. The scene is from the top of Rose Hill where the St George Hotel stood, and looks across the harbour to the east.
St George’s by Emma Fordyce Macrae. The scene is from the top of Rose Hill where the St George Hotel stood, and looks across the harbour to the east.

Macrae apparently only visited Bermuda once in 1952 and must have stayed in St George’s, as the old town is her sole Bermuda subject matter.

She chose many iconic scenes to paint such as St Peter’s Church, the Old Confederate Museum and Mullet Bay. 

These paintings exemplified Macrae’s best work with their planar flatness that is a hallmark of Japanese printmaking. 

She was influenced by the writings of Arthur Wesley Dow whose book Composition introduced students to Japanese concepts of art.

In St George’s, Macrae has integrated this aesthetic with a modernist manner of depicting the background and figures with a quiet stillness and overall sense of harmony. 

The scene is from the top of Rose Hill where the St George Hotel stood and looks across the harbour to the East and the military buildings found there. 

She created a mottled, chalky surface, which evokes the timeless feeling of Italian fresco or tapestry. 

The strangely isolated three-some who are framed by leafless trees indicate wintertime but also add to the overall eeriness.

Elise Outerbridge is curator at Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. Mworks2@logic.bm. www.bermudamasterworks.com. Masterworks is open from Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 11am to 4:30pm.