‘Out into the dark and silence’
By Stanhope Alexander Forbes, RA
signed and dated ‘Stanhope A Forbes.1900’
(lower right), indistinctly inscribed on remnants of a label attached to the reverse.
Oil on canvas
79.5 x 97cm
(31 5/16 x 38 3/16in)
The year 1900 is an important year when assessing the career of Stanhope Forbes. Over the previous two decades, Forbes had enjoyed considerable success with his own brand of realism, based on rigorous draughtsmanship, a subtle understanding of tonal values, and a sense of good composition. A founder member of the New English Art club in 1886, a regular contributor to the Royal Academy, and the unofficial father of the Newlyn school – a position cemented by his establishment of the Newlyn School of Painting in 1899, with himself as ‘Professor’ – Forbes was, by 1900, an established part of the British artistic landscape.
Forbes was a leading figure amongst the first wave of artists who migrated to Newlyn in the 1880s, looking for an alternative to the studio-bound existence of the city. At the turn of the century, arguably many of his most famous works were behind him, but Forbes was at the height of his powers, painting works that would secure his reputation not only as the leading exponent of the Newlyn school he helped to found but also a great artist in his own right.
One of the enduring qualities of Forbes’ work throughout his 70 year career is his faithful recording of Cornwall and Cornish life. Over the course of his which he depicted many strands of life in Newlyn and its surroundings.
In ‘Out into the dark and silence’, a fisherman and a young lad are depicted setting out for the fishing grounds. The younger man is setting a long line as the boat glides away from the harbour wall. The lights of the cottages above Newlyn harbour in the background remind the viewer of the sanctuary of home and loved ones who would be waiting for their safe return. The charged atmosphere of the painting is emphasized in the title.
The Bonhams Cornwall office in Truro has the wealth of knowledge offered by an international team of experts at its fingertips. It regularly consigns important Newlyn School and other paintings which are then subsequently offered for sale by auction in their flagship London salerooms. As well as regular gallery previews of Cornish paintings and jewellery, they also hold valuation events throughout the county which include visits by specialist departments such as jewellery, silver, pictures, motor cars and motorcycles to name but a few.
36 Lemon St, Truro TR1 2NR