Forshaw Day

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Forshaw Day
Born 1831
London, England
Died 1903
Kingston, Ontario Canada
Nationality Canadian
Known for Painting

Forshaw Day (1831 – 1903) was a Canadian artist known for his landscapes.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Forshaw Day was born in London, England in 1831. He studied architecture and design at the Royal Dublin Society in Dublin, Ireland in 1857. He studied architecture and design at the South Kensington School of Art in London, England. Forshaw Day emigrated to Halifax, Nova Scotia at age 32 in 1862.

Early career[edit]

Forshaw Day opened a studio on Bedford Row in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He painted pictures and taught painting at the Technological Institute in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1862-1879. He prepared sets for Garrison theatre productions in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1876, Day supplied a panorama, "From Paris to London," for a professional theatre company. [2]

He worked as a draftsman at the H.M. Naval Yard from 1862-79 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. [3]

He moved to Kingston, Ontario where he taught freehand drawing and painting at the Royal Military College of Canada from 1879-1897. A number of his paintings are now in the college collection. Day painted in England, Ireland, Switzerland. In Canada, Day painted in the Maritimes, Ontario, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

Critical success[edit]

Forshaw Day worked in the late 19th Century, after the Civil War in the United States. Day was elected a member of the Ontario Society of Artists on August 14, 1879.[4] In 1880, he was one of the founding members of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts[5] and his work was included in their group exhibitions.

Final years[edit]

In 1901, members of the Royal Military College of Canada Club raised the Forshaw Day Painting Fund in aid of Prof. Forshaw Day, R.C.A., "in consideration of the friendly relations that always existed between him and the Cadets in attendance at the College, and in view of the fact that his circumstances were such as to appeal to the feelings of all those who had met him at Kingston." A number of his paintings were bought by club members and an oil painting was donated to the College. He died in Kingston, Ontario in 1903.


Forshaw Day's body of work includes oils on canvas, watercolours and etchings. His preferred subjects were landscapes and marine seascapes.


Forshaw Day's work is found in various museums and private collections.

  • The Royal Military College of Canada has two Forshaw Day paintings, no date, oil on canvas, on display in the Senior Staff Mess, both western scenes of the Rocky Mountains, which have plaques indicating they were gifts to the College from ex-cadets, donated in memory of pleasant days spent out sketching with the Professor. One is entitled "On the Bow" whilst the other is untitled. A smaller work, entitled "Lake Ontario Park" is now in storage in Yeo Hall.
  • Purcell’s Cove; Spectacle Island - no date. oil on canvas, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, Nova Scotia [6][7]
  • National Gallery of Canada Library & Archives in Ottawa, Ontario.
  • Yarmouth County Museum & Archives in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.


Forshaw Island, St Joseph Channel, Algoma, Ontario, Canada was named in honour of late Professor Forshaw Day, Esq., R.C.A sometime Professor of Drawing at the Royal Military College, Kingston c. 1879.[8]



  • Davenport, Ray Davenport's Art Reference: The Gold Edition 0 No 2005 Inc. -
  • Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson (Editor) The Artists Bluebook 34,000 North American Artists to March 2005 479 No 1948
  • National Gallery Of Canada Catalog of Paintings National Gallery of Canada 271 No 1935
  • Mallett, Daniel Trowbridge Index of Artists: International-Biographical Two Volumes: Includes 1940 Index 1130 No

External links[edit]