Eric Gill

Christ Child


Not on display

Eric Gill 1882–1940
Object: 141 × 341 × 12 mm
Purchased 1982

Catalogue entry

T03449 Christ Child 1922

Painted wood (reverse bears outline drawing in red ink) 5 1/2 × 13 1/2 × 1/2 (141 × 341 × 12) excluding base
Not inscribed
Purchased from Anthony d'Offay Ltd. (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Prov: Purchased by Anthony d'Offay from the artist's family
Exh: British Sculpture in the Twentieth Century, part I, Whitechapel Art Gallery, September–November 1981 (49, dated 1910); Eric Gill, Anthony d'Offay, May–June 1982 (56, repr. dated 1910)
Lit: Walter Shewring, ed., Letters of Eric Gill, 1947, p.150

Written under the base of this carving is ‘Original carving made by Eric Gill to decorate a baby's crib’. Gill made a figure of the Christ Child for a Christmas crib in the chapel at Ditchling in 1921, using a card cut out and painted, with a wooden support (the other figures were made by David Jones, and Joseph Cribb made the animals). The following year he made for the crib a Christ Child carved in wood and painted, which is mentioned in his diaries for 17–18 and 21 December, 1922. In the absence of other evidence it is likely that the Tate Gallery's carving is this one. (Information from Gill's diaries at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.)

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

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