Edmund Charles Tarbell (April 26, 1862 – August 1, 1938) was an American Impressionist painter. He was a member of the Ten American Painters. Tarbell was born at West Groton, Massachusetts, to a family that immigrated from England in 1647. His father, Edmund Whitney Tarbell, died in 1863 after contracting typhoid fever while serving in the American Civil War. His mother, Mary Sophia Fernald, thereupon remarried to David Frank Hartford and moved with him to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, leaving young Ned and his sister, Nellie Sophia, to be raised by their paternal grandparents in Groton.
As a youth, Tarbell took evening art lessons from George H. Bartlett at the Massachusetts Normal Art School. Between 1877 and 1880, he apprenticed at the Forbes Lithographic Company in Boston. In 1879, he entered the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, studying under Otto Grundmann. Matriculating in the same class were two other future members of the Ten American Painters, Robert Reid and Frank Weston Benson.
Because of his talent, Tarbell was encouraged to continue his education in Paris, France, then center of the art world. Consequently, in 1883 he entered the Academie Julian to study under Gustave Boulanger and Jules-Joseph Lefebvre. Paris exposed him to an academic training, which invariably included copying Old Master paintings at the Louvre Museum, but also to the Impressionism movement then sweeping the city’s galleries. That duality would imprint his work.