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Work of the Week | 29 March 2021

CAG.2649 Evie Hone, Head of Christ, n.d., watercolour on paper, 25 x 36 cm. Presented, 2010. © the artist’s estate.

As Easter approaches, we’re running with a theme for this WORK OF THE WEEK.

Head of Christ by Evie Hone is an undated watercolour that depicts the Passion of Jesus. Using a limited palette of red, blue, and black, the artist composes an image of her subject that is downcast. Gaunt, lips parted, and crowned with thorns, we are confronted with a moment of suffering between the Flagellation and Crucifixion. The bold outlines Hone employs echo her interest in the “rugged, emotional, representational style” of French artist Georges Rouault (1871-1958).

Evie Hone (1894-1955) was deeply spiritual and, in 1925, even journeyed to Truro in Cornwall to join a community of Anglican nuns. Although she stayed there for almost year, Diarmaid Ferriter has noted that Hone ultimately found she had no vocation. At the time, she expressed to her friend, and fellow artist, Mainie Jellett (1897-1944) that “I feel quite at peace now about it and as certain as one can be of anything.” Her faith nonetheless remained an important subject in her work and in 1937 she converted to Catholicism.

Earlier in the 1930s, Hone had turned increasingly away from her earlier abstraction towards stained glass. Having joined An Túr Gloine in 1933, she opened her own studio a decade later in the courtyard of Marlay House at Rathfarnham on the outskirts of Dublin. In 1952, she completed her 83-square-metre stained-glass East Window (depicting the Last Supper and Crucifixion) for the chapel at Eton College, Windsor.

Head of Christ by Evie Hone is displayed in our Harry Clarke Room (Floor 2).

Tune in to The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with assistant curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK!

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