Eric Gill




Brasch Collection NB497 G55 A4 1927



London: Ernest Benn


In late 1909 Mary, Gill’s wife, was pregnant with their third child. This event – a period of ‘comparative continence’ - changed Gill. An inaccessible real woman was turned into an accessible stone substitute. As he wrote, ‘my first erotic drawing was not on the back of an envelope but a week or so’s work on a decent piece of hard stone…’ He was now a sculptor. Importantly, he favoured direct carving on to stone; no modelling. It was his attempt to be truthful to the materials. His reputation was quickly established and commissions followed, like the Stations of the Cross at Westminster Cathedral, ‘Prospero and Ariel’ at Broadcasting House; and the ‘Creation of Adam’ panels on the League of Nation’s building in Geneva. He experimented with figures in movement; ‘The Splits’ (1923) in painted Beer stone was but one.


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John Rothenstein, “Eric Gill,” | OUR Heritage, accessed June 10, 2023,