Frederick Etchells

Inscription ‘Let us now Praise Famous Men’

1925

Sorry, no image available

Artist
Frederick Etchells 1886–1973
Medium
Stone
Dimensions
Object: 510 x 910 x 25 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Transferred from the Victoria & Albert Museum 1983
Reference
T03724

Not on display

Display caption

Before the First World War, Etchells was a painter and exhibited with the Vorticist group. In the 1920s he trained as an architect, and translated Le Corbusier’s manifesto of modernist architecture Towards a New Architecture. The text used in this inscription derives from the Book of Ecclesiasticus, a collection of maxims that is part of the apocrypha of the Old Testament.


Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

T03724 Inscription ‘Let us now praise famous men’ 1925

Hoptonwood stone, the letters painted 20 1/8 × 35 3/4 × 1 (510 × 910 × 25)
Inscribed ‘LET US NOW PRAISE/FAMOUS MEN & OUR FATHERS/THAT BEGAT US + THE LORD/HATH WROUGHT GREAT GLORY/THROUGH THEM BY HIS GREAT/POWER FROM THE BEGINNING’
Transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum 1983
Prov: ...; Department of Architecture and Sculpture, Victoria and Albert Museum, acquired 1934 (A. 47-1934)
Exh: ?Art for the Slender Purse, British Institute of Industrial Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, November–December 1929

There is no information at the Victoria and Albert Museum about the provenance of this inscription, but it seems likely that it was the one exhibited there in 1929. Etchells was a Vorticist painter and subsequently an architect, and is not otherwise known as a letter cutter.

The text is from Ecclesiasticus 44: 1–2. The first four words are painted gold, and the others black.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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