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Robert Bateman OC, OBC, is a Canadian naturalist and painter born in Toronto, Ontario in 1930. As a child he was interested in art and wildlife and he found inspiration from the Group of Seven. He was also interested in making abstract paintings of nature. It wasn’t until the mid 1960s that he changed to his present realistic style.
Bateman was always interested in art, but he never intended to make a living from it. As child, he was fascinated by the natural world and would record sightings of all of the birds in the area around his house in Toronto. Although the stage was set early for Bateman to become an expert wildlife artist, he became a high school teacher of art and geography. However, he still painted in his free time. It wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that his work started to receive major recognition. Robert Bateman's show in 1987, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, drew a large crowd for a living artist.