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The Natural World of Robert Bateman

I can't conceive of anything being more varied and rich and handsome than the planet Earth. And its crowning beauty is the natural world. I want to soak it up, to understand it as well as I can, and to absorb it....and then I'd like to put it together.

Robert Bateman


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Born in Toronto, Canada in 1930. Bateman did small paintings in Toronto and found inspiration from the Group of Seven, later he became interested in making abstract paintings of nature. It was not until the mid-1960s that he changed to his present style, realism. Starting in 1957 Bateman travelled around the world for 14 months in a land rover with his friend. As they made there way through Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia, Bateman painted and sketched what he saw. He became a high school teacher of art and geography. He continued to focus his life on art and nature. His work started to receive major recognition in the 1970s and 1980s. Robert Bateman’s show in 1987 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC drew the largest crowd for a living artist. The majority of Bateman’s paintings are acrylic on various media, and have been shown in major one-man exhibitions around the world, Bateman also has numerous books devoted to his works. With a degree in geography from the University of Toronto, Bateman’s art reflects his commitments to ecology and preservation. He has been an active member of naturalist clubs and other conservation organizations on a global scale. He says “I can’t conceive of anything being more varied and rich and handsome than the planet earth. And its crowning beauty is the natural world. I want to soak it up, to understand it as well as I can, and to absorb it. And then I’d like to put it together and express it in my paintings. This is the way I want to dedicate my work.”

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