The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

February 22, 2016

February 22, 1882

Eric Gill (February 22, 1882 to November 17, 1940) was an artist who excelled in various fields. We have this note on the fonts he designed:

His most widely used type Gill Sans, ...was the first successful sans type based on the humanist models of the Renaissance. Other of his designs are the intricate Perpetua and Joanna, named after his daughter.

He is perhaps most often mentioned as a sculptor. According to Britannica, Eric Gill "After 1912 his success as a sculptor was established, and he inspired an English revival of direct carving in stone rather than using preparatory clay models."

His personal life was sometimes seriously scandalous. Yet as one commentator said of his art, it can be "a thing of breathtaking beauty and profoundest ambiguity." His biographer sums Gill up in these words:

As a sculptor and engraver Gill balances precariously between the deeply spiritual and provocatively secular. He lurches from frenetic action to repose. This clash of flesh and spirit makes him an infuriating, fascinating man. Whatever his own sins, Gill was not to be deflected from his solemnly idealistic life plan "to make a cell of good living in the chaos of the world".

He was an amazing artist; I say this based on this bookplate.

Eric Gill's sculpture is in Westminster Cathedral and he did the "Creation of Adam" panels on the League of Nation's building in Geneva.

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