All classmates at the newly opened Cork School of Art, two of Samuel Forde’s contemporaries, John Hogan and Daniel Maclise, would become the leading Irish artists of the mid-nineteenth century.
John Hogan (1800-58), sculptor, was born in Tallow, Co. Waterford, studied art in Cork and was apprenticed to architect Sir Thomas Deane before making a name for himself in Rome. He is remembered as one of Ireland’s greatest sculptors. His finest works include The Drunken Faun, Hibernia and Brian Boruimhe, and The Dead Christ.
Daniel Maclise (1806-70), painter and illustrator, was born in Cork to a Scottish tanner father, and would become the friend of writer Charles Dickens, the favourite of Royal consort Prince Albert, and the one-time intimate of classmate Samuel Forde. His greatest works include The Death of Nelson at Trafalgar, The Meeting of Wellington and Blucher after Waterloo, and The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife.
Other artists working in Ireland at the same time as (or immediately prior to) Forde include:
George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884), self-taught marine painter, was born at Queenstown (Cobh), County Cork to English parents. His early career was as ship’s carpenter and, later, government surveyor of shipping. This is where his interest in marine subjects began, exhibiting paintings in a pavilion in Cobh during the Royal visit of Victoria and Albert in 1849.
George Petrie (1790-1866), painter, musician and archaeologist, was born in Dublin and was the son of portraitist/miniaturist James Petrie. He was educated at the Dublin Society school and became a close friend of contemporaries Francis Danby and James Arthur O’Connor. He worked largely in watercolours and is considered one of Ireland’s finest Romantic artists.