Henry Mayo Bateman 1887-1970

Bateman was born in Australia but returned to England for his education.  His brilliance stems from the ability to capture the essence of a character in just a few small strokes of the pen.  Bateman used very thin paper for his illustrations which he stuck down to sheets of card - this means that the freshness of colour of some of his works has been dulled over the years, however his penmanship more than makes up for this oversight.


Henry Mayo Bateman was a British humorous artist and cartoonist. His satire and wit brought forth the spotlight of due criticism on upper-class social gaffes. He was noted for his "The Man Who…" series of cartoons, featuring hilariously exaggerated reactions to minor and usually high-class social gaffes such as "The Man Who Lit His Cigar Before The Royal Toast," "The Man Who Threw a Snowball at St. Moritz," and "The Boy Who Breathed on the Glass at the British Museum" which featured in the satirical magazine Punch.


About Bateman, it is believed that he would draw and paint from an early age and produce funny drawings that used to present some funny stories. H.M Bateman had a keen critical eye and was inspired by comics that inculcated humour pertaining to insights for putting forth the extravagance of the upper class. He would draw enthusiastically whenever he could capitalize on an opportunity. At the age of 14, he had decided that he would draw for a publication. In 1901, the cartoonist Phil May, in response to a letter from Rose, showed interest in his drawings, and that year he was motivated by an exhibition of black-and-white art at the Victoria and Albert Museum. His father wanted him to be a businessman, but later on, when Rose and his arguments confronted him, Bateman financed his further study at the Westminster School of Art, which Bateman commenced at the age of 16. 


Bateman's first solo exhibition in 1901 was at the Brook Street Gallery, Mayfair, in central London. He is remembered to have his first contract in 1904 for ten drawings and two illustrations in a fourpenny monthly magazine called The Royal. Percy Bradshaw chose Bateman for having included in his 1918 The Art of the Illustrator presented a portfolio for each of twenty illustrators. His work also contributed to the painting event in the art competition at the 1928 Summer Olympics.