Evie Hone came from a family of artists. Her great uncle, Nathaniel Hone, was a recognized 18th century painter. As a young girl Hone contracted infantile paralysis but overcame this handicap and went on to demonstrate a serious interest in the visual arts. She attended art school in London and Paris where she and her friend, Mainie Jellett studied with academic cubist Andre Lhote. Lhote's analytical approach to cubism  proposed building up a rhythm of line and form from a central image. The Dining Table is illustrative of this technique. Hone frequently created pattern and composition with the use of fragmented circles or arches of differing colors and widths. Devoutly religious, Hone often based the subjects for her paintings on Biblical stories.

In 1922 Hone and Jellett approached abstract painter Alfred Gleizes about studying with him. Reluctant at first because he did not know if he could articulate his ideas, Gleizes eventually was won over by the talent and enthusiasm exhibited by these two young painters. For the next ten summers the women worked with Gleizes in his Paris studio. His cubist teachings emphasized the logical principles of echoing colors and rhythms within a composition.

In 1925 Hone's fervent religious beliefs resulted in her joining an Anglican religious community in Cornwall, England. She lasted only a short period of time and decided to resume her painting. Later in life the same desires made Catholicism attractive and she joined the Church.

The bright blues and oranges, pinks and greens evident in The Dining Table illustrate Hone's appreciation for vibrant color. This attraction to color may in part be the reason Hone spent the second half of her life working in stained glass. Her glasswork was highly praised and she won commissions from churches throughout Ireland and England.

It is important to note that both Hone and Jellett were able to synthesize the modernist, cubist approach proffered by strong teachers without abandoning their own visual sense or their attachment to Christianity. Evie Hone and Mainie Jellett joined Mary Swanzy in helping introduce modernism to Ireland.

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Evie Hone (1894 - 1955) Ireland


The Dining Table

c. 1920’s, gouache on paper, 11” x 14”