Stanhope Forbes’ England, part 1

I was happy to find that one of the first things on my to-do list here at MAG was to help research and secure loans for our upcoming exhibition exploring Newlyn artist Stanhope Forbes’ paintings of England and its people.  As well as working towards the loans and interpretation, I’ve also drafted press-release for the exhibition. To let you know a little about Forbes and the show, here is a brief extract from my draft:

“Born in Dublin to an English Railway Manager and a French mother in 1857, Stanhope Forbes went onto study painting at renowned institutions in London including Dulwich College and Royal Academy, followed by the private Paris studio of French artist Léon Bonnat. But like many of the cutting-edge painters of his time, Forbes chose to leave the salons and art schools of the city in favour of rural areas of Brittany in France to paint the areas people, landscapes, and beautiful light. Working in France, Forbes adopted the fashion for painting en plein air – outdoors and from life. This practice captured the young Forbes’ imagination and he developed a skill for depicting landscapes and the people who live and work within them.

Stanhope Forbes, Chadding on Mounts Bay, 1902, Copyright Museums Worcestershire

Stanhope Forbes, Chadding on Mounts Bay, 1902, Copyright Museums Worcestershire

After searching for a picturesque town in England with a similar beauty of light, Forbes found this in Newlyn, Cornwall, and moved there in 1884 joining a growing group of artists. Here Forbes became a leading member of the Newlyn School – an artist colony dedicated to seeking out the picturesque and poignant in the lives and landscapes of England.

With the spirit of a colonial anthropologist, Forbes hunted out traditional life to record in paint, as well as documenting the growing rail network that linked these previously remote communities. Through pinpointing picturesque spots, hiring local people as models and painting from life, Forbes’s work tells an idyllic story of English life and character with his own powerful narrative voice.”

The full version of this text is currently in the hands of our marketing officer and I will post again when I have her changes and suggestions. I’m looking forward to hearing how text can be altered to bring out the marketable, popular and exciting.

Emalee Beddoes

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