Sir Frank William Brangwyn was a painter, etcher and lithographer of architectural views, genre, marine and religious subjects. Born in Bruges, the son of a Welsh architect, he worked for three years for William Morris designing tapestries. He travelled extensively, and many of his prints and paintings are of continental views. In 1934 he completed a set of lithographs based on the Stations of the Cross. Sixteen sets were printed on laid paper and a further three sets on thin sheets of sycamore, an unusual experiment intended to be more durable in damp church interiors. It was also reproduced in a smaller format in The Way of the Cross: An Interpretation by Frank Brangwyn, Hodder & Stoughton, London 1935, with a commentary by G.K. Chesterton.
Lithography is a complex and subtle technique invented in the late 18th Century and is based upon the antipathy of oil and water. In this instance Brangwyn drew the original designs in outline on tracing paper and transferred them to zinc plates from which the lithographs were printed. In nearly every instance these lithographic plates would have been returned to the platemakers once an edition had been printed, where they would have been refaced ready for re-use. It is extremely unusual for the present plates to have survived.