The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Elizabeth Armstrong, 1859-1912

Nationality: Canadian
Date of Birth: 1859.12.29
Place of Birth: Ottawa
Date of Death: 1912.03.22
Place of Death: Newlyn, Cornwall


Elizabeth 'Adela' Armstrong was a Canadian born painter, printmaker and illustrator. She married Stanhope Alexander Forbes, Newlyn School painter in 1889.


After a brief period at the South Kensington School of Art, Elizabeth Stanhope Forbes studied with William Merritt Chase at the Art Students' League, New York in c. 1877. Later, she studied with the American artist Frank Duveneck (whom JW knew in Venice) and J. Frank Currier in Munich. She also travelled around continental Europe and painted at Pont Aven in Britany for several months in 1882. From 1885 onwards, she lived in Cornwall and became part of the Newlyn School of painters.

She continued to exhibit widely at the Royal Academy, Grosvenor Gallery, the Society of Painter-Etchers and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours. Her stylistic development towards a plein-air rustic naturalism was matched by her fondness for children as subjects as in Jean Jeanne Jeannette (c. 1892; Manchester City Art Galleries).


E.B.S., 'The Paintings and Etchings of Elizabeth Stanhope Forbes.' Studio, vol. 4, 1894, pp. 186-92; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Cherry, Deborah, Painting Women: Victorian Women Artists, London & New York, 1993, The Dictionary of Women Artists, D. Gaze (ed.), London & Chicago 1997.