From 1860 to 1863, Joseph Foxcroft Cole was, in France, a student of Emile Lambinet and, during winters, studied drawings at public schools. At the end of 1863, following a trip to Italy, Joseph Foxcroft Cole founded an art galery in Boston. With the active support of William Morris Hunt, in 1865, he sold enough of his paintings to go back to France where he became a student of Charles Jacque.
With the except of William Morris Hunt, few americans knew the Barbizon artists better than Joseph Foxcroft Cole, where he had frequent contacts with Troyon, Corot, Daubigny and Diaz. In 1872, he did several paintings of the village of Ecouen, showing street actions and a cowshed. See pictures herewith.
Joseph Foxcroft Cole exhibited at the Paris salons of 1866 and 1867, as well as at the 1867 Paris Universal Exhibition. He spent his summers to paint in Normandy and in Belgium. At the end of 1870, he returned to Boston but, in 1872, came back to France and stayed there for five years. He exhibited at the Salon de Paris from 1873 to 1875 and, several times, at the Royal academy of London.
Joseph Foxcroft Cole was awarded a medal at the 1876 Philadelphia Centenial exhibition. He came back to Massachussetts in 1877, living in Winchester at Mystic lakes where, except for few trips to California and Europe, he spent the rest of his life.