Segments in this Video

Introduction: The Art of Eric Gill (02:01)


Man is both matter and spirit. This video will examine Arthur Eric Rowton Gill's life through his own words. The craftsman engraved, taught, sculpted, made his own calligraphy, and mason.

Gill's Childhood (04:08)

Born to a lower middle-class clergyman and professional singer, Gill drew locomotives as a child. The family moved to Chichester. The artist married Ethel Moore, moved to London, and began to carve inscriptions.

Gill's Children (05:06)

Gill moved with his family to a house in Ditchling, Sussex and became a socialist. The craftsman carved erotic images out of stone.

Sculptures (07:15)

Gill combined his workmanship with his imagination in his stone carvings. The craftsman continued to design inscriptions and tombstones. Westminster Cathedral commissioned sculptures depicting the Stations of the Cross.

Bryantspuddle Village Cross (04:23)

Gill created Memorials for World War I in South Harting and Trumpington. Other works designed during this time period included Bisham Wayside Crucifix, the Gingerbread Madonna and Child relief, and the St. Antony of Padua relief.

Belief in the Arts (03:29)

Gill philosophizes on the role of the artist in contemporary society. The gospel records how Christ used violence to enforce his will. The sculptor's job is to make a version of what he sees around him.

Leaving Ditchling (03:15)

Gill moved to Capel-y-ffin and established a workshop. Works created included "The Deposition," "Oak Door Reliefs." and "Monument to Andrew Irvine," and Greek architecture was communally known and loved.

Letter Cutting (04:42)

Laurie Cribb collaborated with Gill on a Sans Seriff font. Gill spent time in Capel-y-ffin musing on eroticism and why he became a Catholic.

Leaving Capel-y-ffin (04:42)

Gill relocated to Speen, Buckinghamshire. Works included "Prospero and Ariel" commissioned by the BBC and "Crocodile Relief."

Architectural Sculptures (03:06)

Reliefs included "Washing and Eating," "Seven Relief's for the People's Place," and "The South Wind." The American delegate refused the original design for "The Relief for the League of Nations."

Designing a Church (03:07)

Gil created his only complete work of architecture in Gorleston-on-Sea. A pointed arch was stronger than the rounded version. The artist prophesized that industrialism would fail and the art world would flourish.

End of Life (04:55)

The body and spirit are inseparable. Gill muses on the end of his life. Lettering, masonry, drawing and carving are a means to the service of God.

Credits: The Art of Eric Gill (00:38)

Credits: The Art of Eric Gill

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

The Art of Eric Gill

Part of the Series : The Art of .. Series
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Eric Gill was one of the 20th century’s most admired sculptors. He was also a letter-cutter, typographic designer (of Gill Sans, among other typefaces), calligrapher, architect, writer, and teacher. His best-known works include the Stations of the Cross in Westminster Cathedral, carved between 1913 and 1918, and his 1931 Prospero and Ariel for the BBC’s Broadcasting House in central London. Gill lived an extraordinary and unconventional life, converting to Catholicism and creating austere monastic communities in Ditchling, Surrey, and at Capel y ffin in the Black Mountains in Wales. Yet for all the profound religious commitment in much of his art, his sculptures and drawings are often also untamed celebrations of sexuality and the female body. He died in 1940. The Art of Eric Gill presents many of Gill’s most important works, and has a soundtrack drawn entirely from Gill’s compendious and controversial writings.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL194761

ISBN: 978-1-64867-401-3

Copyright date: ©2005

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.