Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956):
The 8th Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Framed (ref: 5345)
Pencil on tracing paper
29 x 33 1/2 in. (73.7 x 85.1cm)
Provenance: Kenneth Center; Hilary Gerrish; private collection
Literature: Dominique Marechal, Collectie Frank Brangwyn, Stedelijke Musea, Bruges, 1987, p. 178; The Way of the Cross. An Interpretation by Frank Brangwyn RA with a Commentary by Libby Horner, Auad Publishing, San Francisco, 2008; Cat. 14, Frank Brangwyn, Stations of the Cross, Liss Fine Art 2015, page 26.
The model for the little boy in the foreground -
who adds a poignant contemporary touch to the composition - was
probably a villager called Barry Cox though Donald Sinden, the famous actor, also modelled for
Brangwyn as a boy.
In 1934 Brangwyn completed a set of Stations of the Cross, the original designs drawn in outline on tracing paper and transferred to zinc plates from which the lithographs were printed. The tracing-paper design was transferred to the plate by rubbing the back of the paper with chalk and then retracing the outline of the image. Following this, Brangwyn would have added the detail to the plate, including shading and the folds of the costumes, using lithographic crayon. Sixteen sets of the Stations were printed on paper and a further three sets on sycamore (an experiment intended to produce a lithograph that would be more durable in a damp church interior). The images were additionally
published in a reduced format by Hodder and Stoughton as a book entitled
The Way of the Cross: An Interpretation by Frank Brangwyn (London 1935), with a commentary by G.K. Chesterton, who enthused that Brangwyn was surely ‘one of the most masculine of modern men of genius’ (p. 11).
In his commentary on the eighth station, which G.K. Chesterton felt was pivotal, he observed that ‘Christ lifts His head, looks sharply over His shoulder, and His eyes shine with defiance and almost with fury. And that one flash of fierceness is shot back at the Women of Jerusalem weeping over Him.’
We are grateful to Dr Libby Horner for her assistance (Eighth Station is no.S1903 in her forthcoming catalogue raisonné).