British painter, born in Dublin. His mother was French, and after studying at the Royal Academy Schools (1874–8) he completed his training in Paris (1880–82). He was impressed by contemporary French plein-air painting, and in the summer of 1881 he painted out of doors in Brittany with H. H. La Thangue, who had been a fellow student at the RA. In 1889 Forbes married the Canadian-born painter Elizabeth Armstrong (1859–1912) and later that year they settled in Newlyn, a Cornish fishing village that he ‘discovered’ in 1884. Forbes was not the first painter to work there, but he encouraged others to do so and was ‘the centre and rallying point’ (Art Journal, 1896) of the colony of artists that became known as the Newlyn School. In 1899 he and his wife founded the Newlyn School of Art, which continued until 1938, and Forbes lived in the village until the end of his long life.

Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)

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