X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Bookends Books

Religious doubt

23 April 2011

6:00 AM

23 April 2011

6:00 AM

No description of Eric Gill is ever without the words ‘devout Catholic’, and Eric Gill: Lust for Letter & Line (British Museum Press, £9.99), while short, provides evidence to both confirm and confound that assessment. One can follow the three-year journey of Gill’s celebrated Stations of the Cross for Westminster Cathedral from preparatory drawing to finished sculpture. Or one can study ‘Girl in bath’, a wood engraving of the artist’s daughter Petra, impossible to contemplate without bearing in mind his sexual abuse of his children.

Limiting themselves almost entirely to works owned by the museum, authors Ruth Cribb and Joe Cribb handily distil the career of a restlessly prolific artist while highlighting the sheer breadth of his creativity: sculpture, typefaces, drawings, woodcuts and polemical pamphlets have their place here. There are juicy examples of Gill’s delight in subverting even the most high-profile of public commissions, such as his designs for new coins submitted to King George V in 1925 including the pawnbroker’s emblem of three balls.

The book makes much of Gill’s mistrust of industrialisation, which manifested itself in working methods that were deliberately anachronistic, even medieval. The skill he displayed in their use will allow some to overlook the details of his scandalous private life. Compact, almost a pocket guide, Lust for Letter & Line ties in with a similarly bijou exhibition in Room 69a of the British Museum which runs until 7 August.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close