Stanhope Alexander Forbes was a founder member of a group of landscape and figure painters called the Newlyn School of Art, based near Penzance in Cornwall. Many of the Newlyn School artists had trained in Paris and been in contact with artists like Degas and Manet. They brought new French ideas to Britain and slowly revitalised the Victorian establishment.
Forbes had studied in the studio of Léon Bonnat, and brought home with him the idea of painting in the open air and using local models. He painted fishermen, craftsmen and innkeepers at work. With his wife, the painter Elizabeth Armstrong, he set up the influential Newlyn School of Art, which concentrated on figure drawing.
Fish Sale On A Cornish Beach (1885) was one of his most important canvasses. He painted it at the scene after much preparatory sketching. He had originally started a much larger canvas nearly 3m (10ft) long, but it was too impractical to keep still on a windy beach. The Health Of The Bride (1889) showed a fisherman’s wedding feast.