Stanhope Forbes, father of Cornwall's Newlyn School of painting

Stanhope Forbes, father of Cornwall's Newlyn School of painting

Influenced by Ireland, Brittany and Cornwall, Stanhope Forbes' school of painting was at the forefront of British art well into the 20th century.

Stanhope Forbes, 1857-1947

Stanhope Forbes, 1857-1947


Born in Ireland in 1857, Forbes' painting career was crucially shaped by his time in Brittany during the early 1880s where he absorbed the style of the French "En Plein Air" outdoor painters.

Forbes' first "En Plein Air" painting, "A Street in Brittany" shows women knitting and making nets in a street in Cancale.

Stanhope Forbes' A Street in Brittany (1881)

Stanhope Forbes' "A Street in Brittany" (1881)


Inspired by Breton themes like the fishermen's working life at sea and the everyday life in the harbour and villages, Forbes moved to Cornwall in 1884.

Based in the small fishing town of Newlyn, he soon became a leading figure in a growing colony of English artists who had moved down to Cornwall.

Forbes' national recognition was established with the acceptance of his masterpiece "A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach" (1882-83) at the Royal Academy of London in 1885.

Stanhope Forbes' Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach (1882-83)

Stanhope Forbes' "Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach" (1882-83)


Together with his wife Elizabeth, Stanhope founded their Forbes School of Painting in 1899. The school attracted a new generation of British artists to the area, including Ernest Procter and his future wife Dod Shaw.

Dubbed "The father of the Newlyn School", Forbes was a popular figure in West Cornwall until his death in 1947. His themes, style and school of painting remained extremely influential in British painting well into the 20th century.  

Read more: [Book] Stanhope Forbes, Father of the Newlyn School
A lucid and well written account of the life and paintings of Stanhope Forbes. A well researched and illustrated book of a high standard of publication with beautiful colour plates, clear text and very readable. It includes a large number of less well known works by Stanhope Forbes.
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Stanhope Forbes, Father of the Newlyn School


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