Edwin Forbes

Edwin Austin Forbes (1839 – March 6, 1895) was an American landscape painter and etcher who first gained fame during the American Civil War for his detailed and dramatic sketches of military subjects, including battlefield combat scenes.

Edwin Forbes
Edwin Forbes, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing slightly left.jpg
DiedMarch 6, 1895(1895-03-06) (aged 55–56)
Resting placeGreen-Wood Cemetery
NationalityUnited States
Known forLandscape painter and etcher
Notable work
Military subjects
Poster by Edwin Forbes
Saint Patrick's Day celebration in the Army of the Potomac. Depicts a steeplechase race among the Irish Brigade, March 17, 1863, Edwin Forbes. Digitally restored.


Forbes was born in New York, studied under Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, and began as an animal and landscape painter. During the Civil War, he was special artist for Frank Leslie's Magazine. Many of the spirited etchings he drew during the conflict were later presented by General Sherman to the government. They are now preserved in the War Office at Washington because of their historic value.

After the war, Forbes painted landscape and cattle scenes, among which are "Orange County Pasture" (1879) and "Evening—Sheep Pasture" (1881). In 1877 he was made an honorary member of the London Etching Club.

He died in 1895 in Brooklyn and is interred in Green-Wood Cemetery.


This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. Missing or empty |title= (help)

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