The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to
the British neo-Romantic tradition,
from 1880 to the present day.
While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of
publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions
remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden
tradition to light.
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WHAT IS NEO-ROMANTICISM ?
Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration
from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.
Characteristic themes in their work include a
mystical approach to the British landscape...
ENTRY: Bateman, Robert.
Robert Bateman (1842–1922) was an English painter, illustrator, sculptor, architect and scholar.
He was the third son of James Bateman (1812–1897), the accomplished horticulturist and landowner, who
built Biddulph Grange and its gardens, in North Staffordshire.
Robert attended the Royal Academy schools in the 1860s, and from about 1870 he was the leader
of a group of artists inspired by the art of Edward Burne-Jones. Sadly, it is a group about
which little is now known (see: Christian, J. The Last Romantics - 1989)
His key paintings are "The Dead Knight" (1870) and "The Pool of Bethesda" (1877). Walter Crane,
in his An Artist's Reminiscences (1907), described Bateman's painting as of...
"a magic world of romance and pictured poetry ... a twilight world of dark mysterious woodlands,
haunted streams, meads of deep green starred with burning flowers, veiled in a dim and mystic light."
"The Pool of Bethesda" is at the Yale Centre of British Art. "The Dead Knight" is in a private collection,
but there is a fine large color reproduction in the book The Last Romantics (1989).
Robert married the daughter of the Dean of Lichfield in 1883, and became a wealthy owner of property
and land. His fortune led him to become a noted philanthropist of the time. He and his wife
Caroline lived near Much Wenlock, Shropshire, at the 16th-Century Benthall Hall; now a
National Trust property.
Bateman was a founder of the Society of Painters in Tempera in 1901. He is also said to have
been an architect, although nothing is known about this aspect of his talent.
Bateman was also noted as a naturalist (corresponding with Charles Darwin), a botanical
illustrator, sculptor, book illustrator, and an Italian scholar. He also left a
horticultural legacy, in his planting of the gardens at Bentham Hall from 1890–1906 —
much of his garden design there is still extant and is now maintained by the National
Trust as part of Benthall Hall.