More about Mainie Harriet Jellett

  • All
  • Info
  • Shop

Works by Mainie Harriet Jellett


Mainie Jellett was a stubborn little trailblazer.

Born in Dublin to a wealthy family of “solid Anglo-Irish stock” of Protestant and Unionist parents, Jellett followed her love of art across europe. Born and raised in a time in which women were excluded from many prestigious art institutions, Jellett didn’t conform to the traditional standards of the day and instead followed the “daring” path of modernism. Jellett became friends with fellow Irish artist Evie Hone in London and together they begged various artists to let them study as apprentices. They met while studying at the Westminster Art School with post-impressionist Walter Sickert and shortly after left for Paris to study with Andre Lhote. Lhote combined angular cubism with the bright post-impressionist palette. The girls moved on from Lhote,  whom Edith Somerville called “Cu-beast”, to study with another cubist;  Gleizes. Albert Gleizes was especially reluctant to teach Mainie and Evie but finally gave in, and the trio established itself among the who’s who of 1920s cubism. Gleizes, Jellett, and Hone were three devout Christians who sought religious purity within abstraction.  

When Jellett returned to Ireland after her studies, the public and critics alike were not receptive to her departure from ‘traditional’ art. Despite personal backlash, Jellett fully embraced her home country and its recent achievement of freedom from the UK, differing from her parents’ Unionists ties. Jellett dreamed of a different art world and formed artistic groups in Ireland to further cubism, bonking heads with Irish art institutions like the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA). The RHA’s initial reluctance to acknowledge modern art inspired Jellett and her colleagues, including Hone, to start the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1943. She gave lectures on cubism and abstraction all over the Emerald Isle, seeking to inspire the public to recognize that art can be incorporated in everyday life. Now considered a great dame of Irish modern art, Jellett was an artist, administrator, lecturer and community organizer who holds the title Ireland's first abstract artist. 



Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Mainie Jellett

Mary Harriet "Mainie" Jellett (29 April 1897 – 16 February 1944) was an Irish painter whose Decoration (1923) was among the first abstract paintings shown in Ireland when it was exhibited at the Society of Dublin Painters Group Show in 1923. She was a strong promoter and defender of modern art in her country, and her artworks are present in museums in Ireland. Her work was also part of the painting event in the art competition at the 1928 Summer Olympics.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Mainie Jellett