I love this painting. Alec Forbes, aged around 16, painted by his mother Elizabeth Adela Forbes during a half term break in 1908.
Alec was an only child, described by Mrs Lionel Birch as 'that little fair-haired son, whose future fills so large a space in his parents' hopes and aspirations'. His mother was a talented Canadian artist and his father, Stanhope Forbes, RA, was born in Ireland and studied in London and Paris. He founded the Newlyn school.
Elizabeth published King Arthur's Wood, likely biographically telling childhood adventures of Alec. She dedicated it 'To my little friend and comrade, Alec. This book is dedicated with his mother's love'. I Originally posted this on 26 May, Alec's birthday, but I am reposting with improved notes. I love this painting and post it in this WWI centenary to remind us of how much was lost and how all the numbers are real people with families. 4 years after this painting Elizabeth died of cancer, and 4 years after that Alec was himself killed in France.