The 5th Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross
Framed (ref: 2273)
Signed with monogram: ‘FB’
Pencil on tracing paper
Provenance: Kenneth Center; Campbell Fine Art
Literature: Cat. 8, Frank Brangwyn, Stations of the Cross, Liss Fine Art 2015, page 20
Brangwyn portrays himself as Simon of Cyrene, taking the weight of the Cross on his shoulders and clasping the drooping Christ.
This is the original drawing for the 5th Station of the Cross, one of the 14 designs published in 1936 as a set of lithographs.
The fourteen Stations were printed from zinc plates and in February 1935 Brangwyn noted that he ‘had two printers here most of the week proving the plates of the Stations of the Cross’. Some sets were printed on sycamore, whilst a further 16 sets were printed on paper. The Stations were also reproduced as The Way of the Cross in 1935 with a foreword by G K Chesterton. The Stations are similar in design to the Arras series (1920-24) and follow the tradition of the old Flemish painters, although the costumes are contemporary. In this way Brangwyn suggested that the tragedy of the calvary is never-ending. He included his self-portrait in many of the plates as if seeking redemption for past wrong-doings.