Nathaniel Hone (1831-1917)
- Unframed 19.5 x 27cm
- Oil on canvas
- Bequest from John Brennan Gallewdoon, Reps of Hone Estate
Nathaniel Hone came from a famous artistic family. He began his career as a railway engineer and at twenty-one decided to become a painter, going to Paris in 1853 to study art. He studied under Couture, an early exponent of Realism who also taught the French painter Manet the American William Morris Hunt. Hone settled at Barbizon c.1857, remaining in the Forest for the best part of 13 years, before moving to Bourron-Marlotte, Brittany, Normandy, Paris, and Italy before returning to Ireland in 1872. In general, Hone remained a 'Barbizon' painter, with an interest in tone rather than pure color. In his Irish landscapes there is a predominance of greens and browns, and his shadows remain dark. His paintings became increasingly loose and fluid in later landscapes, and he shared with the Impressionists a love of light; light diffused in the air and pervading landscape, light reflected off buildings and water, whether the changeable light of Ireland or the golden light of Venice or Egypt. He developed special sensitivity to the muted but rich tones of the Irish countryside, and changeable light on East and West coasts, shafts of sunlight on a field, cloudy skies at evening or the approach of rain.