Ben Foster

Ben Foster was born in North Anson, Maine in 1852. He lived there throughout his childhood with his artist brother, Charles Foster. Due to financial reasons, Ben didn’t start his art career until he was about thirty. In 1870 Ben moved to New York City and took a mercantile job, which supported his art training. In New York City he attended the Art Students League. Ben then moved to Paris from 1886-1887. During this time, Ben became homesick for the woods of New England. After he returned back to America most of his work centered around where he settled: Cornwall Hollow, Connecticut. Ben Foster specialized in the bucolic scenes of the New England countryside. Ben was primarily a Tonalist; focusing on the interrelation of the tones in the artwork, he dealt with limited tones and subdued colors. Following the Tonalist tradition most of his paintings were completed in both oil and watercolor. Tonalism emerged in the 1880s when American artists began painting landscapes with the overall tone of a colored atmosphere or mist. This style is characterized by diffused, soft light with muted tones and hazily outlined objects, which combined created an overall peaceful mood. Ben Foster died in 1926 at the age of seventy-four.