Born in France, Amedee Forestier was on the staff of The Illustrated London News from 1882 and travelled widely for the magazine, covering ceremonial and state occasions in Britain, Europe and North Africa. In 1896, he was commissioned to paint commemorative pictures of the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II in Moscow and in 1908 he was in Quebec for the ILN to record the tercentenary celebrations.
He worked in pen and ink with wash, producing a wide variety of subjects in common with most ILN “specials”. His First World War illustrations saw him echo this eclecticism and subjects ranged from rat hunting in the trenches to the execution of Edith Cavell. He also worked as a publicity illustrator for both the French and British Red Cross during this period.
One genre in which he particularly excelled was archaeology and impressions of early man in which he combined, according to the ILN, “scientific accuracy with vivid imagination… and a wide knowledge of antiquity”. His imaginative reconstruction of “Nebraska Man”, published in the ILN in 1922, is his best-known picture.
He wrote and illustrated a number of books on Belgium and provided illustrations for novels by other writers. At the time of his death, he was at work on a series of pictures to illustrate London from its earliest times for the London Museum (Museum of London).