Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Eric Gill in St. Nicholas Churchyard

In the churchyard of St. Nicholas, Kenilworth, near the gatehouse of the ruined abbey of St. Mary, this headstone stands over the grave of Edward Herbert Draper (d. 1911) and his wife Elsie (d. 1924). The stone is the work of the great twentieth-century English artist, Eric Gill (1882-1940). In 1900, Gill began to train as an architect in London, but soon decided to learn stonemasonry and calligraphy. It was as a stone cutter—creating monuments such as this one—that Gill began his career. Later, beginning in the 1920s, he began designing typefaces—the most famous being Perpetua (1926) and Gill Sans (1927-1930), the official typeface of the BBC (see below). As a sculptor, Gill's first major work was the series of fourteen bas relief plaques of the stations of the cross in Westminster Cathedral (1914-1918).

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