Haydn Reynolds Mackey was a British painter and illustrator. Born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk in 1883 the artist began his artistic education at the Slade School of Art in London. Mackey served as an Official War Artist during the First World War, and was stationed with the Royal Army Medical Corps on the Western Front. The artist received great acclaim for his depiction of life during the war, his immediacy to the suffering and hardship of active soldiers imbued his work with raw emotional truth. Mackey’s representation of life on the front line included scenes of domestic duties that were rarely seen.
Following the War, Mackey came to be well regarded as a more commercial artist. His innovative approach to printmaking established the artist as a particularly fine illustrator. Mackey developed his own method of colour printing, whereby the artist would produce single impression linocuts printed on fine transparent sheets which were then hand painted in bold colours using oil paints. The artist used this method regularly in his work for the Mandrake Press, through which he illustrated several literary publications. The artist was also well regarded as a more traditional painter, and exhibited often in Paris, France where he was awarded a multitude of prizes at international fairs. From the 1930s onwards, Mackey taught at the Walthamstow School of Art for a significant period. The artist died in 1979. His work remains in a number of eminent collections, including those of the Imperial War Museum and the Royal Academy.