Thursday 6 May 2021

Stanhope Forbes - part 1

1891 Self-Portrait
oil on canvas 33.5 x 29.2 cm
Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museum, Scotland, UK

Stanhope Alexander Forbes, RA (1857 – 1947) was a British artist and a founding member of the influential Newlyn School of painters. He was often called 'the father of the Newlyn School'.  Forbes was born in Dublin, the son of Juliette de Guise Forbes, a French woman, and William Forbes, an English railway manager, who was later transferred to London.

Educated at Dulwich College, he studied art under John Sparkes who later taught at South Kensington School of Art. His father then worked for the Luxembourg Railway and after a period of poor health Forbes was removed from Dulwich College and studied under private teachers in Brussles. This afforded additional time to draw. After the end of the 

Franco-Prussian War, the Forbes returned to London. John Sparkes helped influence William Forbes to recognise his son's artistic talent, Stanhope Forbes then attended Lambeth School of Art. By 1878 he attended the Royal Academy under Sir Frederic Leighton and Sir John Millais.

Forbes returned to Ireland for a few months to visit Dr Andrew Melville, family friend and Queen's College professor. While there the men shared their appreciation of art and Forbes painted landscapes of the Galway area. He also received his first commission for a portrait. Back in London, at the age of 18, he received another commission for a portrait of a doctor's daughter, Florence. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1879.

1878 Florence
oil on canvas 74.5 x 62 cm
Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, UK

He then studied at the private atelier of Léon Bonnat in Clichy, Paris from 1880 to 1882. Henry Herbert La Thangue, who also attended Dulwich College, Lambeth School of Art and the Royal Academy, came to Paris, too, and studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Arthur Hacker, a friend from the Royal Academy joined Forbes at Bonnat's atelier. In 1881Forbes and La Thangue went to Cancale, Brittany and painted en plein air, like Jules Bastien-Leoage, which became a technique that Forbes used throughout his career. 

A painting made there, “A Street in Brittany,” was shown and well received at the 1882 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and sold later that year to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. 

1881 A Street in Brittany
oil on canvas 104.2 x 75.8 cm
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

During an 1883 trip to Brittany, Forbes stayed at Quimperlé. His “Breton Children in an Orchard - Quimperlé,” was shown at the 1884 Royal Hibernian Academy. 

1882 Breton Children in an Orchard - Quimperlé
oil on canvas 99 x 72.5 cm
Private Collection

Having completed his studies in France, Forbes returned to London and showed works he made in Brittany at the 1883 Royal Academy and Royal Hibernian Academy shows. 1884 he moved to Newlyn in Cornwall, and soon became a leading figure in the growing colony of artists.The Slip” was Forbes' first painting made in Newlyn.

1884 The Slip 

oil on canvas 108 x 87 cm

The artist colony received national attention with the Royal Academy exhibition of Forbes works in 1885. The exhibition of "A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach" also brought notoriety to Forbes and the artist colony. 

1885 A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach
oil on canvas 118.5 x 154 cm
The Box, Plymouth Museums Galleries Archive, UK

He was one of the founders of the New English Art Club in 1886. Henry Tate bought The Health of the Bride (1889), which is now at the Tate Gallery in London.

1889 The Health of the Bride
oil on canvas 152.4 x 200 cm
Tate, London

In 1892 Forbes became an Associate of the Royal Academy. Forbes was the founding chairman and trustee of the Newlyn Art Gallery beginning in 1895. Forbes and his wife founded the Newlyn Art School in 1899. It attracted students such as Ernest and Doris "Dod" Shaw, Frank Gascoigne Heath and Jill and Geoffrey Garnier. The Newlyn area had experienced an economic downturn as the result of failing fishing, mining and farming industries. The school helped to bring an economic resurgence to the area by encouraging individuals to vacation in the area and study and practice art. 

In 1910 Forbes was elected a Royal Academician. Forbes became a member of the St Ives Society of Artists  in 1928. In 1933 he was made a Senior Royal Academician. Stanhope Forbes died in 1947.

This is part 1 of 4 on the works of Stanhope Forbes:

1874 Portrait of an English Lady
oil on canvas 111.8 x 78.7 cm

1878 Italian Fisher Girl with a Rod
oil on canvas 61.5 x 51 cm
Wisbech & Fenland Museum, UK

1878 The Letter Writer
oil on canvas 47.5 x 35.5 cm

before 1881 Grosvenor Hodgkinson (1818–1881)
oil on canvas 96 x 78 cm
The Resource Centre, Newark and Sherwood Museum Service, Newark, UK

1882 Outside Chapelle Saint-David in Quimperlé, Brittany (see below)
oil on canvas 101 x 111 cm
Private Collection

1882 Chapelle Saint-David in Quimperlé, Brittany
contemporary view

1882 Portrait of a Lady
oil on canvas 90 x 70 cm

1882 The Convent (Quimperlé)
oil on canvas 86.5 x 76 cm
Private Collection

1884 Old Newlyn
oil on canvas 38 x 30.5 cm
Private Collection

1884 Study of a Fisherwoman
oil on canvasboard 15 x 20 cm
Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance, Cornwall, UK

1884-85 The Fish Seller on a Cornish Beach
oil on panel 34.3 x 24.1 cm

after 1885 Children in a Newlyn Street
oil on millboard 28.6 x 21 cm
Standen House and Garden, West Sussex, UK

1885 Street in Newlyn
oil on canvas 43.3 x 26 cm

1886 Beach Scene, St. Ives
oil on canvas 18.5 x 17 cm
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, UK

1886 Daily Bread
oil on canvas 55.8 x 43.2 cm

1886 Off to the Fishing Ground
oil on canvas 119.5 x 156 cm
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

1886 Still Waters
oil on canvas 60.5 x 76 cm
Newport Museum and Art Gallery, Wales, UK

1887 The Road above St. Ives (Cornwall)
oil on canvas 56 x 41 cm

1888 The Bridge
oil on canvas 61 x 76.5 cm

1888 The Village Philharmonic
oil on canvas 133.5 x 172.5 cm
Birmingham Museums Trust, UK

1889-90 By Order of the Court
oil on canvas 152.5 x 204.5 cm
Walker Art Gallery. Liverpool, UK

1891 Fishing Boats ( study )
oil on canvas 35.5  50.7 cm
Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, UK

1892 Forging the Anchor
oil on canvas 263 x 221 cm
Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service, UK

1893 Figures on a Country Road
oil on canvas 56 x 77 cm

1893 John Stone, Town Clerk of Bath
oil on canvas 137 x 109 cm
Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, UK

1894 A Fishergirl, Newlyn
oil on canvas 63.5 x 46 cm

1894 The Little Smithy
oil on canvas 61.3 x 77.2 cm
National Museum Cardiff, Wales, UK

1894 The Quarry Team
oil on canvas 152.5 x 244 cm

1895 Alderman G. J. Johnson
oil on canvas 138.7 x 112.5 cm
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

1895 Sir Peter Eade, Mayor of Norwich
oil on canvas 137.8 x 111.9 cm
Norwich Civic Portrait Collection,
Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, UK

1897 Christmas Eve
oil on canvas 183.2 x 137.2 cm
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, UK

1898 The Letter
oil on canvas 151 x 116 cm
The Box, Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives, UK

1898-99 Fire murals 

Stanhope Forbes's contribution to the scheme for The Royal Exchange. The Great Fire of London 1666, and the Destruction of The Royal Exchange in 1838.

1898 Saved from the Flames
study oil on canvas 100 x 69 cm

1899 Study for 'The Fire of London' 

1899 The Destruction of The Royal Exchange in 1838

1899 The Destruction of The Royal Exchange in 1838
oil on canvas 11.7 x 78.8 cm

1899 The Great Fire of London, 1666
Mural in the Royal Exchange, London

1899 The Great Fire of London, 1666
oil on canvas 153.7 x 101.3 cm

1899 The Great Fire of London, 1666
oil on canvas 83.8 x 61 cm

1900 Mending the Nets
oil on canvas 92 x 71 cm

1900 Out in the Dark and Silence
oil on canvas 79.5 x 97 cm

1900 The Drinking Place
oil on canvas 174 x 152.5 cm
Gallery Oldham, Lancs., UK

1901 Good-Bye! Off to Skibbereen

1901 Good-Bye! Off to Skibbereen
oil on canvas