By the age of fifty while H. M. Bateman was a household name as a cartoonist he nurtured a strong desire to paint ‘… quite a serious picture; one that did not depend on any comic situation to make it appeal … the picture I have in mind is quite a simple one. A landscape perhaps, with just the way the light falls on a house or a tree, almost anything would do for a subject so long as it expresses the beauty of the earth and sky and water…’.
He settled in Malta in 1965 and our 2012 Exhibition ‘Malta and Gozo’ celebrated the little plein-air studies with which he caught those Islands. These studies were made on trips down the Italian Riviera, from La Spezia via Paola in Calabria to Siracusa in Sicily, in 1966 and 1967. He did not inscribe them however anyone familiar with that long coast will recognize the genre, the charming lungomare and the languor of a Mediterranean summer.
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