Bateman, H M (1887-1970)

H.M. Bateman was a 20th century cartoonist and caricaturist. Born in 1887, he was already drawing for publication in his early teens. Astonishingly prolific and inventive, everything he saw became material, so that his work can be read as a social history of Britain in the early 20th Century. Bateman became the most highly paid cartoonist in the country. From the graceful and rhythmical lines of his earlier work to the stark brilliance of his strip cartoons and the furious energy of his Man Who ... series, his essential qualities of superb draughtsmanship, astonishing observation and a profound appreciation of humanity’s foibles, are always married to a wonderful wit and narrative perfection. He told marvellously funny stories in pictures. Astonishingly, a few years before the Second World War and at the height of his fame, Bateman gave up humorous art completely to pursue his old dream of becoming a “serious painter”.

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