Samuel Forde (1805-28) was an Irish painter.
The son of a tradesman who abandoned his family and moved to America, Samuel Forde was born in Cork on 5 April 1805. Supported by his older brother William, a musician, he applied himself from a young age in reading, sketching, and the study of Latin, French and Italian. At the age of thirteen he enrolled in the newly founded Cork School of Art (now the CIT Crawford College of Art and Design and the Crawford Art Gallery, respectively). Here he studied its collection of Greco-Roman casts and learned distemper painting alongside the painter Daniel Maclise (1806-70) and sculptor John Hogan (1800-58). He was later employed at the Cork Theatre and subsequently as Drawing Master in the Cork Mechanics’ Institute.
In 1826, Forde’s ambitions as an artist became more pronounced and he began to execute works of his ‘own invention’. At this time he produced his first portrait and, in the following year, a painting of the Crucifixion for a chapel near Skibbereen, County Cork. On 10 February 1828, Forde commenced work on the masterpiece he would never complete: Fall of the Rebel Angels.
Samuel Forde died from tuberculosis on 29 June 1828, aged just twenty-three.