Anne Forbes (1745-1834), artist (1781). David Allan (Scottish, 1744-1796). Oil on canvas. Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Forbes shows a strong backbone and determined eyes. To be an independent woman in the 18th century was a challenge. Forbes studied in Rome before setting up a studio in London. Her society friends shunned her for going into business. Ill and discouraged, she returned to Edinburgh where she established herself as a drawing teacher, a more acceptable occupation for a woman.