Feeding the Ducks

Birket Foster (1825 - 1899)

Size (inches): 11.4 (h) x 15.4 (w) inches
Size (cm): 29 (h) x 39 (w) cm

English painter, illustrator and collector. He was apprenticed to a wood-engraver. Foster also provided designs for Punch and the Illustrated London News. In 1846 he set up on his own as an illustrator. The rustic vignettes of the seasons established him as a charming interpreter of the English countryside and rural life. During the 1850s his designs were much in demand. His watercolour technique, with its reliance on stippling rather than broad washes, reflects his experience in designing for wood engraving. His work was appreciated as being Pre-Raphaelite in detail, without the harshness of colour and the unorthodox compositional formats that rendered the Pre-Raphaelites work disturbing. 
While rural England was the inspiration for much of his work, Foster travelled regularly on the Continent, gleaning material for publications and watercolours.
In 1893 illness forced Foster to sell The Hill together with most of his collection of pictures. He moved to a smaller house in Weybridge, Surrey, where he continued to paint until his death.


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