(n/a) Stanhope Alexander Forbes, RA (British, 1857-1947)
Snared signed and dated 'Stanhope A Forbes/1907', (lower right) oil on canvas 102 x 128 cm. (40 x 50 in.)
Provenance: M. Newman, London; Private collection.
Exhibited: Royal Academy 1907, No. 365.
Literature: Royal Academy Illustrated page 65; Caroline Fox, Stanhope Forbes and The Newlyn School p.86.
By 1907, Stanhope Forbes still held a central place in the artistic life of Newlyn. He had been there for nearly twenty years, married there and established his own school of painting in 1889. He was enjoying commercial success and was a popular figure within the local community and among the other artists, who had been such a feature of the life of the Cornish fishing village since Walter Langley and Edwin Harris first settled there in the early 1880s.
Forbes had always drawn his subject matter from the life of the village, but from 1905 he was beginning to move away from scenes of the harbour and fisherfolk to concentrate more on local farming and trade life. A fascination with the effects of light had always been a theme of his work, whether it be the shimmering of the water on the sand, as in his most famous early work A fish sale on a Cornish beach of 1885 (City of Plymouth Museums and Art Gallery), or the warm glow of the light from inside the cottage reflected in the face of the characters in The Letter of 1898, (also in Plymouth Museum.)
Snared is one of a number of night scenes, which concentrate on the dramatic effect of artificial light. Round the camp fire (1903, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle), shows a gypsy family sitting round a fire. Snared shows a group of poachers, their faces lit by a lantern as they examine their prey.
By 1910, Forbes had been elected a full Academician. He continued to paint scenes of everyday life and apart from his work in the 1880s, his compositions of the early 1900s are considered some of his best. His work tends to be less successful after the death of his wife in 1912 and the following year, the loss of his son Alec in the war.