Exhibitions: Sacred and Profane. Drawings from the 1920s and 1930s by Edward Burra, Cecil Collins, Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill, James Hyman Fine Art, London, 5 December 2003 - 24 January 2004
This powerful drawing coincides with Gill's carving of The Holy Face of Christ (Manchester City Art Gallery), which he undertook for his own pleasure. This rendering of the face of Christ after the Turin Shroud displays Gill's enjoyment of drawing for drawing's sake. The sculptor commented on his high regard for this art:
"For drawing like any other art is not merely a means to an end. Drawing is worth doing for its own sake; it is subordinate to no other end than the general end of life itself - man's final beatitude." (Eric Gill, Preface, Twenty-Five Nudes, London, 1938)
In both the drawing and the sculpture, the focus lies in Christ's face, which is characterised by frontally stylised, byzantine features. However while the sculpture betrays a degree of tenderness in its depiction of Christ sleeping, the present drawing of Christ's face is more austere in its directness.