Mainie Jellett (1897-1944), 'Decoration', 1923. © National Gallery of Ireland.
Mainie Jellett (1897-1944), 'Decoration', 1923. © National Gallery of Ireland. Credit

Decoration by Mainie Jellett

Year
1923
Size
89 x 53 cm
Medium
Tempera on wood panel
Provenance
Bequeathed, Evie Hone, 1955
Number
NGI.1326

Jellett trained in Dublin and London before moving on in 1920 to Paris. There, with Evie Hone, she studied under André Lhote, an advocate of Cézanne’s analytical approach to painting, and Albert Gleizes, an established Cubist artist. Inspired by their work, Jellett began to analyse rhythm, colour and form in her own work, while also drawing on long-standing pictorial traditions. Though essentially abstract, the format, colour range and media of this work strongly recall religious icons depicting the Madonna and Child. When shown with a similarly abstract painting at the Society of Dublin Painters group show in 1923, Decoration caused a furore.