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Machell, Reginald Willoughby

(1854-1927). Machell was a distinguished English artist who in 1888 became a member of the Theosophical Society (TS) and a personal pupil of Helena P. Blavatsky. A Fellow of the Royal Society of British Artists, his portraits and symbolic paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy, London. His most famous work, a large painting in oils and gesso titled “The Path” has been exhibited in England and Continental Europe and is now hanging at the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society, Pasadena.

When Blavatsky moved to 19 Avenue Road, Regents Park, London, she asked Machell to carry out the interior decorating there. Blavatsky invited him to have his studio at Avenue Road and coming under her direct influence the character of his paintings changed, becoming mystical and reflecting theosophical ideals.

On the death of H. P. Blavatsky in 1891, Machell supported William Q. Judge, and his successor, Katherine Tingley, invited him to participate in the establishment and development of Point Loma. There he created remarkable murals and wood carvings and played a prominent part both in staging and acting in Katherine Tingley’s productions of Greek and Shakespearean dramas.


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