Edward Mitchell Bannister was an American Tonalist oil painter. Born in Canada, he spent his adult life in New England, where he was a prominent member of African American cultural and political communities. He joined Boston's abolition movement and was a founding member of the Providence Art Club.
Bannister's style and predominantly pastoral subject matter reflected his admiration for the French artist Jean-François Millet and the French Barbizon School. A life-long sailor, he also looked to the Rhode Island seaside for inspiration. Bannister continually experimented in his artistic practice, and his artwork is noted for its connection to Idealist philosophies and his masterful control of color and atmosphere. He began his professional practice as a photographer and portraitist before developing his more well-known landscape style.