Ann Forbes was a Scottish portrait painter who furthered her artistic education in Italy. Travelling to Rome with her mother and brother in 1767, she studied with the Scottish artists Gavin Hamilton and James Nevay, both of whom enjoyed successful careers in Italy. On returning to Britain in 1771, Forbes settled in London, where she established a studio. The demands of London’s highly competitive art world quickly became too much for her, however, and, falling prey to ill health, she was forced to return to Edinburgh. Once settled in her native city, she was able to make a full recovery and re-establish her portrait practice. Although it came at the cost of her earlier professional ambitions, the move enabled her to make a successful living and, in 1788, to gain formal recognition of her talent when she was appointed as Portrait Painter to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.