Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Eric Gill inspired Crucifix

We picked up this crucifix at this weekend's antiques fair. I was drawn to it particularly because it is so very reminiscent of the modelling of Eric Gill. I am by no means an expert in Gill, I couldn't even say if he actually worked in bronze, being primarily a stone-carver, but I suppose it's possible. I'm also aware that since Gill, every religious representation in relief or full 3D, has been more than just informed by his work, up to and including the churning out of religious clip-art for inclusion in church newsletters. But this piece struck me as being very directly influenced indeed. I have had a rootle through some of my books of Gill's engravings and printed images and the two below are just two of many which all have strong elements which are reproduced in the crucifix: he often portrayed the crucifixion with arms high up not outstretched, the long loin-cloth on the crucifixion of St Luke (below) is very like the garment on the bronze, I have found others where the INRI cartouch is vertical and almost identical to this one. I doubt any real connection could ever be proved but it's a lovely thing nontheless.

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