92 Facts About Eric Gill


Arthur Eric Rowton Gill, was an English sculptor, letter cutter, typeface designer, and printmaker.


Eric Gill was born in Brighton and grew up in Chichester, where he attended the local college before moving to London.


Eric Gill abandoned his architectural training and set up a business cutting memorial inscriptions for buildings and headstones.


Eric Gill began designing chapter headings and title pages for books.


Eric Gill became a Roman Catholic in 1913 and remained so for the rest of his life.


Eric Gill established a succession of craft communities, each with a chapel at its centre and with an emphasis on manual labour as opposed to more modern industrial methods.


The first of these communities was at Ditchling in Sussex, where Eric Gill established the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic for Catholic craftsmen.

Related searches
Thomas More

Many members of the Guild, including Eric Gill, were members of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, a lay division of the Dominican Order.


In 1924, the Eric Gill family left Ditchling and moved to an isolated, disused monastery at Capel-y-ffin in the Black Mountains of Wales.


At Capel, Eric Gill made the sculptures The Sleeping Christ, Deposition, and Mankind.


Eric Gill created engravings for a series of books published by the Golden Cockerel Press considered among the finest of their kind, and it was at Capel that he designed the typefaces Perpetua, Gill Sans, and Solus.


Eric Gill was a prolific writer on religious and social matters, with some 300 printed works including books and pamphlets to his name.


Eric Gill frequently courted controversy with his opposition to industrialisation, modern commerce, and the use of machinery in both the home and the workplace.


Since these revelations became public in 1989, there have been a number of calls for works by Eric Gill to be removed from public buildings and art collections.


Eric Gill was born in 1882 in Hamilton Road, Brighton, the second of the 13 children of the Reverend Arthur Tidman Gill and Rose King, formerly a professional singer of light opera under the name Rose le Roi.


Arthur Tidman Eric Gill had left the Congregational Church in 1878 over doctrinal disagreements and became a minister of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, a grouping of Calvinist Methodists.


Arthur was born in the South Seas, where his father, George Eric Gill, was a Congregational minister and missionary.


Eric Gill was the elder brother of the graphic artist MacDonald "Max" Gill.


In 1897, the family moved to Chichester, when Arthur Tidman Eric Gill left the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, became a mature student at Chichester Theological College and joined the Church of England.


Eric Gill studied at Chichester Technical and Art School, where he won a Queen's Prize for perspective drawing and developed a passion for lettering.


Later in his life, Eric Gill cited the Norman and medieval carved stone panels in Chichester Cathedral as a major influence on his sculpture.


In 1900 Gill became disillusioned with Chichester and moved to London to train as an architect with the practice of W D Caroe, specialists in ecclesiastical architecture with a large office close to Westminster Abbey.


Frustrated with his architectural training, Eric Gill took evening classes in stonemasonry at the Westminster Technical Institute and, from 1901, in calligraphy at the Central School of Arts and Crafts while continuing to work at Caroe's.


In 1904 Eric Gill married Ethel Hester Moore, a former art student, later known as Mary, the daughter of a businessman who was the head verger at Chichester Cathedral.


Eric Gill formed a business partnership with Lawrence Christie and recruited a number of staff, including the 14-year old Joseph Cribb, to work in his studio.

Related searches
Thomas More

Eric Gill began giving lectures at the Central School and taught courses in monumental masonry and lettering for stonemasons at the Paddington Institute.


Eric Gill had a brief affair with the family maid while his wife was pregnant and then a relationship with Lillian Meacham, who he met through the Fabian Society.


In 1907, Eric Gill moved with his family to Sopers, a house in the village of Ditchling in Sussex, which would later become the centre of an artists' community inspired by Eric Gill.


In London, Eric Gill would stay at his old lodgings in Lincoln's Inn with his brother Max or with his sister Gladys and Ernest Laughton, her future husband.


Eric Gill continued to concentrate on lettering and inscriptions for stonework and employed a pupil for his signwriting business.


Eric Gill began to use wood engraving techniques for his book illustration work, notably for a 1907 edition of Homer for Count Kessler.


Eric Gill had always considered himself an artisan craftsman rather than an artist.


Eric Gill rejected the usual sculpture technique of first making a model and then scaling up using a pointing machine, in favour of directly carving the final figure.


An early admirer of Eric Gill's sculptures was William Rothenstein and he introduced Eric Gill, who was fascinated by Indian temple sculptures, to the Ceylonese philosopher and art historian Ananda Coomaraswamy.


At Ditchling, Epstein worked on elements of Oscar Wilde's tomb in Pere Lachaise cemetery for which Eric Gill designed the inscription before sending Joseph Cribb, who had moved to Ditchling in 1907, to Paris to carve the lettering.


Eric Gill had his first sculpture exhibition in 1911 at the Chenil Gallery in London.


Eight works by Eric Gill were included in the Second Post-Impressionism Exhibition organised by Roger Fry at the Grafton Galleries in London during 1912 and 1913.


Eric Gill was a surprising choice for the commission as he had only recently become a Catholic and had only been a sculptor for three years.


Eric Gill modelled both the Christ figure in panel ten and a soldier in the second panel on himself.


Subsequently, Eric Gill submitted proposals for decorations and works in other parts of the Cathedral building and, eventually, his design for the Chapel of Saint George and the English Martyrs was commissioned.


Eric Gill had been granted exemption from military service while working on the Stations of the Cross and when they were finished spent three months, from September 1918, as a driver at an RAF camp in Dorset, before returning to Ditchling.


All members of the Guild were Catholics and most, including Eric Gill, were members of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, a third order of the Dominican Order.


Eric Gill had taken to wearing a habit, often with a symbolic cord of chastity added.


Eric Gill created the memorial at Briantspuddle in Dorset and, with Chute and Hilary Stratton, the monument at South Harting.


Beside the main entrance to the British Museum, Eric Gill designed and carved, with Joseph Cribb, the memorial inscription to the museum staff killed in the conflict and for the Victoria and Albert Museum, again with Cribb, he created the war memorial in that museum's entrance hall.

Related searches
Thomas More

Previously, in 1911, Eric Gill had cut the inscription for the foundation stone of the British Museum's new King Edward VII building.


However, Eric Gill became disillusioned with the direction of the Guild and fell out badly with his close friend Pepler, partly over the latter's wish to expand the community and form closer ties with Ditchling village and because Eric Gill's daughter, Betty, wanted to marry Pepler's son, David.


Eric Gill resigned from the Guild in July 1924 and, after considering a number of other locations in Britain and Ireland, moved his family to a deserted monastery in the Black Mountains of Wales.


Eric Gill changed his mind when they sought to publish a volume of poems by his sister Enid.


Eric Gill created striking designs that unified and integrated illustrations into the text and created a new typeface for the Press.


The other key working relationship Eric Gill established while at Capel-y-ffin was with Stanley Morison, the Typographic Advisor to the Monotype Corporation.


Morison persuaded Eric Gill to apply the skills and knowledge he had gained in letter cutting to fonts suitable for mechanical reproduction.


Eric Gill Sans is considered one of the most successful type-faces ever designed and remains in widespread use.


Eric Gill was spending sizable amounts of time in Bristol with a group of young intellectuals centred around Douglas Cleverdon, a bookseller who published and distributed some of Gill's writings.


In October 1928, the Eric Gill family moved to Pigotts at Speen, five miles from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.


Eric Gill started on the project within days of arriving at Pigotts and worked on site in London from November 1928 to carve three of eight relief sculptures on the theme of The Four Winds for the building.


Art-Nonsense And Other Essays by Eric Gill was published in 1929 and marked the first commercial use of the Perpetua typeface.


Later that same year the diaries record what Eric Gill called his 'experiments' with a dog.


The Hague and Eric Gill press was established at Pigotts in 1931 and eventually printed 16 of Eric Gill's own books and booklets while he illustrated six other books for the company.


Eric Gill completed The Four Gospels, widely considered to be the finest of all the books produced by the Golden Cockerel Press, and began working on the sculpture Prospero and Ariel for the BBC's Broadcasting House in London.


Eric Gill carved stone signage throughout the museum in English, Hebrew and Arabic.


Eric Gill became increasingly unhappy with the impact of humanity upon the world and become convinced of his own role as one chosen by God to change society.


Paradoxically, alongside this despondent world view Eric Gill dropped his long-standing opposition to the use of modern home comforts and appliances.


Religious observance was no longer expected of the workshop staff and among the additional apprentices and assistants Eric Gill employed were a number of non-Catholics, including Walter Ritchie.


Eric Gill became a supporter of social credit and later moved towards a socialist position.

Related searches
Thomas More

In 1934, Eric Gill contributed art to an exhibition mounted by the left-wing Artists' International Association, and defended the exhibition against accusations in The Catholic Herald that its art was "anti-Christian".


Eric Gill became a regular speaker at left-wing meetings and rallies throughout the second half of the 1930s.


Eric Gill was adamantly opposed to fascism, and was one of the few Catholics in Britain to openly support the Spanish Republicans.


Later, Eric Gill joined the Peace Pledge Union and supported the British branch of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.


Eric Gill was commissioned to produce a sequence of seven bas-relief panels for the facade of The People's Palace, now the Great Hall of Queen Mary University of London, which opened in 1936.


In 1938 Eric Gill was commissioned to create a mammoth artwork for the Palace of Nations building in Geneva, as the British Government's gift to the League of Nations.


The Creation of Man flanked by Man's Gifts to God and God's Gifts to Man are three marble bas-reliefs in seventeen sections and constitute the largest single work Eric Gill created during his career but are not considered among his finest works.


In 1935, Eric Gill was elected an Honorary Associate of the Institute of British Architects and in 1937 was made a Royal Designer for Industry, the highest British award for designers, by the Royal Society of Arts, and became a founder-member of the RSA's Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry when it was established in 1938.


Quite why Eric Gill was offered, let alone accepted, these honours from institutions he had openly reviled throughout his career is unclear.


Eric Gill designed the building around a central altar which, at the time, was considered a radical departure from the Catholic practice of the altar being at the east end of a church.


The affair lasted two years during which time Eric Gill drew her on an almost daily basis.


When Hawkins was sent away from Pigotts, to the boarding house at Capel-y-ffin run by Betty Gill, Eric Gill followed her there to continue the relationship.


Eric Gill spent time between October and December 1939 working at Guildford, on scaffolding carving the figure of John the Baptist.


Eric Gill worked on a set of panels depicting the stations of the cross for the Anglican St Alban's Church in Oxford, finishing the drawings three weeks before he died and completing nine of the pieces himself.


Eric Gill's design showed a life-sized figure of Christ the Priest on the cross attended by Sir Thomas More and John Fisher.


Eric Gill died before the work was completed and Lawrence Cribb was tasked with finishing the piece by the Cathedral authorities who insisted he remove an element of Eric Gill's original design, a figure of a pet monkey.


Eric Gill died of lung cancer in Harefield Hospital in Middlesex on the morning of Sunday 17 November 1940 and, after a funeral mass at the Pigotts chapel, was buried in Speen's Baptist churchyard.


Eric Gill emerged as one of the twentieth century's strangest and most original controversialists, a sometimes infuriating, always arresting spokesman for man's continuing need of God in an increasingly materialistic civilization, and for intellectual vigour in an age of encroaching triviality.


In 1909, Eric Gill carved Alphabets and Numerals for a book, "Manuscript and Inscription Letters for Schools and Classes and for the Use of Craftsmen", compiled by Edward Johnston.


Eric Gill later gave them to the Victoria and Albert Museum so they could be used by students at the Royal College of Art.

Related searches
Thomas More

In 1914, Eric Gill had met the typographer Stanley Morison, who was later to become a typographic consultant for the Monotype Corporation.


Eric Gill Sans was based on the sans-serif lettering originally designed for the London Underground.


Eric Gill had collaborated with Edward Johnston in the early design of the Underground typeface, but dropped out of the project before it was completed.


One of the most widely used British typefaces, Eric Gill Sans, was used in the classic design system of Penguin Books and by the London and North Eastern Railway and later British Railways, with many additional styles created by Monotype both during and after Eric Gill's lifetime.


The family Eric Gill Facia was created by Colin Banks as an emulation of Eric Gill's stone carving designs, with separate styles for smaller and larger text.


Eric Gill was commissioned to develop a typeface with the number of allographs limited to what could be used on Monotype systems or Linotype machines.


Eric Gill published numerous essays on the relationship between art and religion, and a number of erotic engravings.