Sir Thomas Monnington:
Study for ‘The Fifth Station, The Cross is laid upon Simon of Cyrene’, circa 1960
Framed (ref: 503)
Charcoal over intersecting diagonals in red wax crayon, sight size, 21 1/2 x 17 1/2 in.(54.6 x 44.5 cm.), overall size 24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm.)
Literature: Sir Thomas Monnington, exh. cat.. The Fine Art Society, London, 1997, p. 56Monnington began designs for fourteen Stations of the Cross for St George’s Parish Church, Brede, Sussex, in 1959; he exhibited studies for Jesus Meets his Mother and Jesus Falls for the First Time at the Royal Academy that year.The works were commissioned by the Rector of Brede, the Revd Percy Hill, with the support of Bishop George Bell, who enthusiastically endorsed Hill’s choice: ‘If you could get Monnington it would be wonderful.’ Monnington accepted thecommission at a cost of £100 for each station. He expressed a preference to execute the works as frescoes but, since the surface of the ancient walls did not allow this, painted them instead in tempera on panel.The work took several years to complete, and Monnington became deeply moved by the subject matter. The last four or five stations are markedly different in style from the earlier ones, as Monnington was increasingly drawn towards abstraction. Strong stylistic parallels can be made between Monnington’s Stations and Paul Nash’s twelve wood-cuts for Genesis (Nonesuch Press, London, 1924).