Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956)   BIOGRAPHY

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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.  


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.’

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.

We are grateful to Dr Libby Horner for her assistance (Eighth Station is no.S1903 in her forthcoming catalogue raisonné).

   



Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956)


Frank Brangwyn was born in Bruges, Belgium, the son of an English father and Welsh mother. The family returned to London in 1874, Brangwyn's father gaining work as a designer of buildings, embroideries and furniture. Although Brangwyn appears to have had little formal education, whether academic or artistic, his earliest mentors were three of the most influential men in design at the turn of the century: Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo, William Morris and Siegfried Bing. Between 1884 and 1887 Brangwyn travelled to Kent, Cornwall and Devon, before venturing further with trips to Turkey in 1888, South Africa in 1891, Spain in 1892 and Morocco in 1893. Brangwyn was an independent artist, an experimenter and innovator, capable of working on both large and small scale projects, ranging from murals, oil paintings, watercolours, etchings, woodcuts and lithographs to designs for architecture, interiors, stained glass, furniture, carpets, ceramics and jewellery, as well as book illustrations, bookplates and commercial posters. It is estimated that he produced over 12,000 works during his lifetime. Mural commissions included the Worshipful Company of Skinners, London (1902-09), St Aidan's church, Leeds (1908-16), Manitoba Legislative Building, Winnipeg, Canada (1918-21), Christ's Hospital, Horsham (1912-23), State Capitol, Jefferson City, USA (1915-25), the British Empire panels, Swansea (1925-32), and Rockefeller Center, New York (1930-34). Brangwyn married Lucy Ray in 1896 and took on the lease of Temple Lodge, Hammersmith, in 1900. In 1918 the artist purchased The Jointure, Ditchling, where he spent most of his time following his wife's death in 1924. Elected RA in 1919, knighted in 1924, holder of countless artistic awards, Brangwyn was modest about his singular achievements, regarding art as an occupation and describing himself as a designer.

See all works by Frank Brangwyn