'A Street in Brittany', Stanhope Alexander Forbes, 1881
Oil on canvas, 104.2 x 75.8cm
Accession Number WAG509
Forbes was inspired by the contemporary French artist, Jules Bastien-Lepage. This was Forbes' first out-of-doors painting. It is also arguably his masterpiece. It shows Breton women knitting and net-making in a Cancale street.
The blue tonality, general absence of shadow and distinctive brushstrokes are about as close as the British avant-garde at this time came to including certain aspects of Impressionist art.
Forbes was later the principal instigator of 'The Newlyn School', a Cornish-based artist's colony.
An extended study of 'A Street in Brittany' is available online as part of our Artwork of the Month series.