[ Stanhope Forbes, RA, Irish-born Cornish painter, 'Father of the Newlyn School'. ] Seven Autograph Letters Signed ('Stan') to his mother following the death of his father, describing life in Newlyn, his wife, dealings with the artist Norman Garstin.

Stanhope Forbes [ Stanhope Alexander Forbes ] (1857-1947), RA, Irish-born Cornish painter, 'Father of the Newlyn School' [ Norman Garstin ]
Publication details: 
Five from Bellevue, Newlyn, the other two without place. One dated 1 January 1889 and another 2 January 1889; the others without year.
SKU: 20511

For information about Forbes, see Elizabeth Knowles's 2017 biography. A total of 27pp., on seven 12mo bifoliums, each with a mourning border. The collection in good condition, lightly aged and worn. Seven letters, six of them addressed to 'Dearest Mother' and the other to 'My dearest Mother'. The seven letters are all written around the end of 1888 and beginning of 1889, and reflect Forbes's concern at his mother's low spirits following the death of his father. There are two letters from 30 December [1888]. In the first he reports that he is 'safe & sound' in his 'old quarters […] I was very glad to get to Penzance where of course Lizzie [his wife the Canadian artist Elizabeth Adèla Forbes (1859-1912, née Armstrong] was waiting for me Old Garstin [the artist Norman Garstin (1847-1926)] too turned up & I thought it so kind & attentive of him until I found the old rascal had been working in the waiting room of the Station, doing a picture there & had simply run out to see me - the Newlyn coach conveyed us home & I learnt that Tayler & his mother had arrived ten minutes before me, by the slow train. So I shook hands with them, […] then went to the Castle with Liz. Mrs. Armstrong [his mother-in-law?] is not very bright & has been ailing for some time […] Lizzie was simply charmed with the brushes which I proceeded to hand over at once as it was her birthday.' The letter proceeds with reference to 'little Garstin', 'Mrs. Maddern' and 'Hannah'. The second letter of 30 December [1888] reports that 'Tayler & his mother have gone into Penzance. The old lady wishes to be near the Catholic Church & I think Bertie is going to take rooms for her thereabouts but he himself will go to Gulval'. On 1 January 1889 he complains that the new year 'has begun in rather a gloomy way. A very dark dull day & cold. We saw it in at the Castle last night three or four of us. Old Tayler was there Miss & Mr Gotch we had Celtic music'. The letter continues with references to his wife 'Lizzie', and 'Mrs. Bodilly', 'Halliday', 'Mr. Armstrong' and 'Plummer', the latter 'a very undemonstrative old man, but for all that he held my hand for a long time whilst he asked after you | He had been told about it like most of my models down here - Mr. Tayler is lodged in Penzance pro tem. Berter expects she will be back before long but I think not. He himself is very undecided about his Gulval trip'. On the following day he reports the receipt, from his wife, of a letter written by his mother: 'It is very natural you should feel your sorrow at this time but I do trust you will have the strength to endure it & in time to find more happiness still in store for you. You will have Lizzie with you tomorrow night & I am sure her visit will serve to cheer you up.' He 'started to work in earnest' the previous day, and hopes 'soon to make progress with this new picture. It will be difficult but it is a capital subject & very interesting & I ought not to fail'. He also refers to his brother 'Bill' and to 'Miss Harrison'. The remaining three undated letters are written in the same vein, with reference to a trip to Paris by the mother, 'the Batemans' and the 'stout brother whom you remember at St. Ives', his income tax, 'Mrs. Morgan'. One letter discusses 'Garstin's story': 'He read it the other night or rather about half of it & I was delighted. It is a charming fanciful little fairy tale. Whether the public will like it or rather still more important the publishers I don't know but I imagine he will find a market for it some how. Poor fellow it is very sad to see him at times. I am sure he is terribly anxious about the future. Mrs. G. is a wonderful woman but no amount of management can make their income suffice & should sickness attack him it would be dreadful. He talks of giving up painting but then there is nothing else for him to do. Meanwhile his little boy is growing up into the dearest little fellow the picture of health & good humour'.