FINE ART INVESTMENTS SINCE 1978
Att. to Myles Birket FOSTER
Title: "Gypsies Gathering Firewood"
Medium: Original Gouache Watercolor
Framed Size: 14" X 12"
English painter, Myles Birket Foster, (1825–1899), 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 range was limited, however, and he was criticised for relying on the same rural imagery regardless of
the nature of the text.
Foster's book illustration culminated in Pictures of English Landscapes. Intent on establishing himself as a watercolour painter,
he stopped accepting further commissions for book illustrations in 1858. 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. Foster's watercolours proved even more popular than his illustrations.
In 1860 Foster built The Hill, in Witley, Surrey; this became a social centre for a group of artist friends