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date: 19 September 2019

Foster, Myles Birketlocked

(b Tynemouth, Northumb., Feb 4, 1825; d Weybridge, Surrey, March 27, 1899).
  • Scott Wilcox

Extract

(b Tynemouth, Northumb., Feb 4, 1825; d Weybridge, Surrey, March 27, 1899).

English painter, illustrator and collector. After a short and unsatisfactory period working in the family brewing business, he was able to convince his Quaker parents to allow him to pursue a career in art. He was apprenticed to a wood-engraver, Ebenezer Landells (1808–60), who recognized Foster’s talent for drawing and set him to work designing blocks for engraving. 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 that he contributed to the Illustrated London News and its counterpart, the Illustrated London Almanack, established him as a charming interpreter of the English countryside and rural life and led to his employment illustrating similar themes in other publications. During the 1850s his designs were much in demand; he was called upon to illustrate volumes of the poetry of Longfellow, Sir Walter Scott and John Milton. His range was limited, however, and he was criticized for relying on the same rural imagery regardless of the nature of the text....

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