Myles Birkett Foster was a draughtsman and watercolourist of landscape and rustic scenes.
Foster began his career as an engraver and draughtsman, producing designs for Punch amongst others. From 1846 he worked as a free-lance illustrator of books, such as Pictures of English Landscapes (1862), and for the Illustrated London News. Later he turned to watercolour and became a regular exhibitor with the Old Watercolour Society (which subsequently became the Royal Watercolour Society). He travelled widely in continental Europe; a visit to Venice in 1868 became the first of many visits to Italy and he made numerous drawings and studies there, notably a series of fifty watercolours of Venice for the collector Charles Seely. He is most remembered for highly popular and rather sanitised watercolour scenes of rural Surrey where he settled in 1863.
Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, 1956-61; Pennell, J. Modern Illustration, London and New York, 1895; Wood, Christopher, Victorian Painters, 2 vols., 3rd edtn., revised, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1995; Reynolds, J. Birket Foster, London, 1984.