At Mahale – Chimpanzees – 17-1/2 x 35; Offset Paper; Edition Size 950; $185 U.S.
“I first visited Africa in the 1950’s at about the same time that Jane Goodall
began her work with chimpanzees. Like millions of others I followed her career
through the National Geographic magazine and television specials. Her life and
work changed the way we see animals, especially our closest relatives, and
the way we see ourselves. She brought sensitivity and compassion to the
clear eye of science, therefore, my wife Birgit and I feel very fortunate
that we have had several opportunities to spend time with her when she
has been visiting our home area.
More than once she has asked me why so few artists, more particularly
Robert Bateman, have ever painted chimps. The explanation might lie in
the fact that they have been so “used” as a comic object that they,
through no fault of their own, have a trite and silly image. Gorillas seem
not to have suffered this same fate; they have an image of power and
dignity. Before I did my chimp painting I wanted to experience them in
the wild and to see their habitat.
I needed an “idea”, a feeling and a sense of time, place and composition.
The chance came on a trip to the Mahale Mountains along the shores of
Lake Tanganyika, about 200 kilometres south of Jane’s study area at
Gombe Stream. Sadly, the Gombe area has been almost ruined by the
wars around Rwanda and the Congo and the devastating impact of
thousands of refugees. But the Mahale Mountains have been set aside
as a park and are still in a virtually pristine state. Although our time with
the chimps was in bright sunlight, I chose a subdued green, filtered
light to symbolize their forest world. Green is a spiritual colour for me
and so I tried to depict this group with dignity, yet a sense of social
relationship and family.”
Robert Bateman has been called the most famous living artist. He continues to paint and tour the world to promote conservation and preservation of nature. We have represented Robert Bateman for decades and are now the sole publisher and distributor of his reproductions. We are so honored to work with him and witness his success. He has made such a massive contribution to the art world and the natural world as an artist and educator of the earth’s most important resources.
Nature as a subject is becoming more and more popular as our environment is in peril. What better subject is there than the beautiful creatures we share this world with? Robert Bateman’s appreciation and understanding of nature are apparent in his paintings. He is able to paint flora and fauna the way your eye would perceive it in real life. It is important that the animal takes full attention. The background becomes muted, and therefore it doesn’t take too much focus away from the subject. His paintings seem effortless and masterful all at once.
Bateman’s eye for composition is unparalleled. Each painting is a composed like a symphony, leading the eye to wander. From the backyards of North America to the sprawling plains of Africa. Robert Bateman captures nature the way it should be enjoyed. Above all he is a champion of wildlife. For this reason he has become a household name for art collectors.