Eric Gill

The East Wind

1929

On display at Tate Britain

Artist
Eric Gill 1882–1940
Medium
Bath stone
Dimensions
Object: 254 x 705 x 102 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1929
Reference
N04487

Display caption

Gill pioneered a return to traditional craft skills, in particular stone carving. In 1928 he led a team of sculptors commissioned to carve reliefs symbolising the four winds for the exterior of the new London Underground headquarters at St James’s Park station. These are copies he made later. The style of the reliefs demonstrates Gill’s admiration for English and French medieval sculpture.

Gallery label, September 2016

Catalogue entry

N04487 THE EAST WIND 1928
 
Not inscribed.
Portland stone, 10×27 3/4×4 (25·5×30·5×10).
Purchased from the Goupil Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1929.
Exh: Goupil Gallery Salon, Goupil Gallery, November 1929 (193).
Lit: Kineton Parkes, The Art of Carved Sculpture, 1, 1931, p.80; Letters, 1947, p.246.
Repr: National Gallery, Millbank [Tate Gallery], Review of the Acquisitions, 1927–29, 1930, p.36.

The model for the ‘East Wind’ on the north side of the west wing of St James's Park Underground Station (not visible from the street). One of the three reliefs of ‘Winds’ carved by Gill from the series of eight; he was the leader of the team of sculptors consisting of Eric Aumonnier, A. H. Gerrard, Henry Moore, F. Rabinovich and Allan Wyon. He noted in his diary (in the possession of his brother Evan Gill) that he made the drawings on stone on 13 November 1928, carved the models on 15th–17th and ‘started sculptures in situ’ on 20th. Gill's model for the ‘South Wind’ was exhibited at the same time at the Goupil Gallery (192) and the model for the ‘North Wind’ (in reverse) was given by Mrs Frank Pick to the V. & A. in 1942.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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