The work of Evie Hone, one of Ireland’s most talented artists

Aoibhín Meghen

Ireland has had many famous artists in its past, WB Yeats, Paul Henry, Jack B Yeats. Everybody who grew up in Ireland will recognise those incredible talents but do many outside of artistic circles know the name Evie Hone? 

Hone may not have the same household recognition as other male Irish artists, but throughout her career and even after her death she was considered a forerunner for abstract paintings and stained glass panels in Ireland. 

Hone even got international recognition when she produced a stained glass window that can be seen in Eton College, Windsor. 

Evie Hone, who’s full name is  Eva Sydney Hone was an Irish artist who worked during the early 20th century and one of her stained glass pieces can be found in DCU’s All Hallows campus.

As well as working with stained glass windows, Hone was also an abstract painter. She took on a cubism style in her paintings and has been described as a pioneer of the style in Irish art.

Hone was born in Dublin in the late 19th century however she moved to London in 1913. It was here she studied drawing and painting, and she met she met fellow artist Mainie Jellet an Irish abstract painter.

Her deep religious beliefs are said to have influenced her work in stained glass. Hone converted to Catholicism in 1937 and throughout the 1930’s until her death in 1955 she focused more and more on her stained glass works. 

Hone’s most famous work is the east window of the chapel in Eton College, Windsor. This piece gained Hone international recognition as a stained glass artist. 

The window was commissioned to replace one which had been destroyed by a German bomb during World War II.

Another of her works can also be found in Irish government buildings in Dublin. The stained glass window is titled, “My Four Green Fields” has served as a background for many government press conferences since it’s restoration in the 1980’s. 

“My Four Green Fields” represents the four provinces in Ireland with symbols or emblems for each province.

Hone produced over 150 stained glass panels throughout her career, including one, an ornate rose window, which can be found in the chapel on DCU’s All Hallows campus and was installed in 1954. 

The window in the chapel is located on the organ balcony and is dedicated to the Assumption.

In 2013, six of her paintings were stolen from a church in Galway. The paintings were part of a set commissioned in 1945-46 depicting the stations of the cross. 

They were recovered three years later in Offaly and at the time the painting were estimated to be worth €150,000 altogether.

When Hone passed away in 1955 she left behind a legacy for Irish female artists. Her work in cubism and abstract paintings was groundbreaking her stained glass window panels can be found in buildings across the country. 

So perhaps it’s time we gave Irish female artists, like Hone, some of the same recognition we give our other Irish artists. Hone’s work is part of Irish daily life, we should also allow her name to be.

Aoibhín Meghen

Image Credit: WikiMedia