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H M Bateman 1887 - 1970
20th century cartoonist and caricaturist

To many admirers of the art of the cartoon, H.M.Bateman is the most original, the most various, the most brilliant – and, indeed, the funniest – genius of his times. 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 first half of the 20th Century and, to an extraordinary degree, as a kind of autobiography. His family and friends; his trips to the fair, to the seaside, abroad; his passions for the Music Hall, for tap-dancing, for boxing, for fishing, for golf; his desperate experiences in the First World War; his car, his house, his vacuum-cleaner; his triumphs and disasters over many years – all find their way in to his cartoons.

His style developed and changed radically over the years. 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.


Children of Toil

Stout and Oysters by HM Bateman

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All images © H M Bateman Designs Ltd