STEPHEN BONE (1904-1958)

Paintings from the Artist’s Estate

NOTE: These paintings are available to BUY ONLINE from the publication of this page at 5pm on 12th July.
They are on view at the gallery from 10am Thursday 13th July.

Stephen Bone was the son of the great print-maker and war artist Sir Muirhead Bone (1876-1953). The family spent his early years in Italy, returning to England in 1911. Bone was educated at Bedales, and from 1922-1924 trained at the Slade School of Art. As a young man he made a series of trips to Scotland, discovering a love of travel and a desperate need for escape and solitude to contrast with his otherwise sociable life. He became an itinerant traveller and the small oil panels that he made on his journeys were the core of his work. Bone’s natural handling of paint and ability to convey effects of light and weather were, and still are, greatly admired. His oil panels, always painted outdoors and in a few hours of intense concentration, sold for 7 Guineas in the 1920s, 14 Guineas by the end of the 1930s and 21 Guineas at his exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in 1946.

‘From Ireland to Sweden and from Scotland to Spain he carried his wooden paintbox fitted out with paints, brushes and a rack of 3 or 4 primed panels. His equipment included a three legged stool with a leather seat, a broad brimmed felt hat and, in winter, fingerless woolen mittens. He was a very tall man, in the early days he strode, up to 40 miles a day, to reach his paintable locations or struggled with his kit to reach veiwpoints …’
(Sylvester Bone, the artist’s son, from a text written for our 2010 exhibition of paintings by Stephen Bone)

In 1929 Bone married the artist Mary Adshead (1904-1995) with whom he collaborated on illustrated books. Before the War the family bought a house in Haverstock Hill, near where many of his London paintings were made, and lived between there and Hampshire. During WWII Bone was drafted into the Civilian Camouflage Department. He worked at Leamington Spa until 1943 when he was appointed an Official War Artist attached to the Navy (see the IWM site for examples of his War work). Through the 1940s and 1950s Bone turned to broadcasting and journalism. He became a popular critic writing for magazines such as Time and Tide, The Spectator, The Listener and The New Statesman and was a radio and television personality, regularly contributing to programmes such as Animal Vegetable and Mineral, The Critics, The Brains Trust and The Talks. He took up the post of Director of Hornesey College of Art in 1957 but passed away the following year.

These works are sold framed in a simple black moulding with inner cotton-wrapped slip.

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