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Neil Forster (1939-2016)

Neil Andrew Forster (1939-2016)

‘I can’t think of any more talented pastel portraitist, either of people or of animals, since the Second World War. His gifts were sublime.’ (Chris Beetles, quoted in
The Sherston Cliffhanger, May 2016, page 14)

The figurative artist, Neil Forster, developed a particular talent for pastel portraiture of humans, horses and dogs.

Neil Forster was born in Calcutta on 29 January 1939, the eldest of four children, the father of whom worked for a tea plantation group. At the end of the Second World War, Forster and his siblings left India for Sussex with their mother, while their father stayed on in India until his retirement.

Forster showed early promise as an artist while attending Hurst Court Preparatory School for Boys, in Ore, Sussex. He won a junior painting prize, which was sponsored by the Royal Academy of Arts, and his reward was lunch with Sir Alfred Munnings, the Academy’s President. He went on to Bradfield College, Berkshire, where he developed a love of cricket and won a scholarship to the Byam Shaw School of Art, in London.

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