Evie Hone - Stained Glass Window Designs

May Art Auction Lot 26 & 27 - Evie Hone, Stained Glass Window Designs

Born in Dublin in 1894, Evie Hone contributed to a major shift in Irish arts through both her paintings and stained glass work. Hone was an early pioneer of Cubism in Ireland, alongside friend and fellow artist, Mainie Jellett whom she first met whilst studying at the Westminster Technical Institute. In 1920, Hone followed Jellett to Paris where the pair worked with André Lhote, and later with Albert Gleizes.

Gleizes, along with Jean Metzinger wrote the first major text on Cubism. A theorist as well as artist, Gleizes shaped Hone and Jellett’s early art education. By expanding the composition beyond one perspective, to merge planes and dissect space, Cubists believed this type of painting represented subjects closer to lived experience, as the world is perceived through various angles and constant movement. Georges Rouault, a French Fauvist painter deeply admired by Hone, married together the emotive and sensational impact of abstraction with religious subjects. Rouault began his career as an apprentice to a stained glass artist working in French Gothic cathedrals. Following this path, Hone initiated a radical shift in Irish spiritual representation by expanding abstraction to the traditional medium of stained glass. Reflecting on stained glass designs Hone viewed in France, she wrote: ‘These windows have fulfilled their purpose, which is primarily not to represent something but to arrange forms and colours in such a way as will produce an effect of beauty, a living organism with rhythm and balance.’

From 1925 to 1927, Hone entered an Anglican convent in Cornwall, breaking with art for over a year before resuming her studies with Gleizes, posting artworks to him for critical feedback. In 1933, Hone began studying under Wilhelmina Geddes, whose craftmanship continues to be ranked amongst the highest achievements of glasswork. Whilst Geddes was working at Otterden Place in 1933, Hone was studying under her tutelage. Following the trajectory initiated by her, Hone introduced a new expressionism to glass, transforming modernist paintings into figurative stained glass panels. She joined An Túr Gloine, an artist co-operative, founded by Sarah Purser, before setting up her own workshop in Rathfarnham.

These designs in gouache highlight Hone’s aesthetic transformation from abstract paintings to narrative stained glass panels, her initial Cubist style shaped an attention to line, composition, and colour which translated naturally to her later glass work.
Evie Hone - Stained Glass Window Designs