I just discovered that Eric Gill, creator of the reasonably popular typeface Gill Sans, was one weird dude.
Arthur Eric Rowton Gill ARA (/ɡɪl/; 22 February 1882 – 17 November 1940) was an English sculptor, typeface designer, and printmaker, who was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. His religious views and subject matter are generally viewed as being at odds with his sexual behaviour, including his erotic art and alleged sexual abuse of his daughters, sisters, and dog.
I don’t know that his behavior was at odds with his religious views, either. He was Catholic, but Catholicism covers a broad range, and he favored a socialist flavor of the faith, which has modern conservative Catholics angry, and his incestuous and bestial behavior are good reasons to flog him. Well, and also for good Catholics to “analyze” his erotic art.
Before pointing out a webpage with his works, I feel it necessary to give a prudent warning. Gill’s drawings are extremely indecent. I don’t recommend that anyone look at them. But since I was making a serious investigation into exactly who Eric Gill really was, I went to a site and analyzed some of his prints. I can assure you that the critics were not exaggerating. The prints contain many nudes, including pornographic and blasphemous ones. For instance, some depict male and female nude saints with their respective halos performing the sexual act; another entitled God Sending shows a naked and sexually aroused Christ descending to earth; yet another entitled Earth Receiving shows what appears to be the same Christ fornicating with a woman, possibly representing the earth.
All that sounds just lovely to me, while the bit about having sex with is close relatives creeps me out. Ick. What a mess of a man.
I haven’t been tangling with Catholics very much lately, but if I do, I guess I’ll have to quote them in Gill Sans from now on.