S. Dominic's Press. ; GILL Eric (1923.)
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Engraving on title Hound of St. Dominic by David Jones and Christ and the Money Changers. by Eric Gill. Sq. 12mo., a very good copy in the original printed wrappers repeating Jones engraving. Partly unopened. Welfare Handbook No. 10. Ditchling, S. Dominic's Press.
Wrappers just a little bit dusty, but a very good copy.
The text is Gill's defence of his large and controversial stone frieze Christ driving the Moneychangers from the Temple, commissioned as a war memorial for Leeds University by its chanceller, the art collector and aesthete Sir Michael Sadler (and father of the author and bibliophile Michael Sadleir). Its controversy lay both in its subject matter, which had no overt reference to the war, and in Gill's choice of dressing the moneychangers in 20th Century dress. Gill's defence here makes the case that the war was or should have been a purifying experience for the nation, but the artwork is more easily read as an attack on the financiers and profiteers who did well out of the war. Sadler was ready for the public row which erupted, and Gill never shirked a fight, but this pamphlet, which was widely quoted in the press, came out before Sadler's official response, which was apparently in contradiction of an agreement between them. Surprisingly none of the contemporary comments appear to have made an anti-semitic interpretation: Leeds has a large Jewish community, and one of the characters carries a pawnbroker's sign.
Taylor and Sewell A107: A.C. Brook, Eric Gill's Moneychanger . . . Transcript of presentation. Available online.
Stock Code: 228624