Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ex Libris Vivian Forbes


In my Short List #11 I listed the postcard above and cataloged it thus:
FORBES, Vivian. Autographed Card. 140mm x 100mm. A
sepia-toned reproduction of Forbes’s painting, “The Echoing
Valley” is signed at the top and dated xii.v.22. Forbes (1891-
1937) studied art at Chelsea Polytechnic and, while serving
in WW1 met Glyn Philpot with whom he lived and shared
a studio from 1923. Forbes was known in particular for
his decorative schemes, including for St Stephen’s Hall in
Westminster and the Vice-Regal Palace in New Delhi. His
artwork is clearly heavily influenced by Philpot. Their studio
space was also shared by Charles Ricketts and Charles
Shannon. Forbes’s intense attachment to Philpot was tested to
its limit by Philpot’s sudden death in 1937 and, the day after
the funeral, Forbes took his own life. Very good with a little
album residue on the verso.
Forbes is not a major figure but should probably be better understood than he is today. I was, of course, delighted to discover that he had drawn his own ex-libris bookplate. The scan below is not from an actual copy but is rather a photograph of a reproduction in a book. If anyone out there has a copy of the actual bookplate and would like to sell it to me, please drop me a line.




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