The foreground of a picture is the closest to a viewer. This is often what is clearest in a picture, what’s in focus. Some examples of foreground characters are the dancers in Edgar Degas’s painting Four ballerinas on the stage, and the girl in Pierre Auguste Renoir’s “Little Irene”. The word “foreground” can also be defined as something that is the most important part of something.
So the foreground of a painting is often the most important part of the painting. This could be people - such as the examples given here - or landscapes and flowers. Other examples include the lines in an abstract painting and the scenes of a woodblock print. When one is working with a medium, the things that are most important need to come to the front immediately.