“Giant Panda” by Robert Bateman
Signed, #3709/5000 lithograph print
Beautifully triple matted and framed
Print is 31.5" wide x 24.5" tall
Frame is 36.75" wide x 30.5" tall
"The giant panda is a close relative of the bears but is not exactly the same. While
it appears to be very much like all other bears, the vocalizations as well as the anatomy of the reproductive tract and data from blood protein indicate that the giant panda is distinct from all other bears.
As most people know, the giant panda is a very rare animal which lives in the
mountains of China and feeds mainly on bamboo. The habitat is threatened, and
the breeding potential is low. The panda is one of the most conspicuous endangered
species in the world. Withoutconsiderable effort on the part of people who care,
the panda would undoubtedly soon become extinct in the wild.
This is why it is an appropriate symbol for
World Wildlife Fund. I did this painting as part of a fund-raising effort in conjunction with Metro Toronto Zoo, World Wildlife Fund and the People's Republic of China.
The timing was appropriate because of the loan of two pandas to the zoo by China. The concept for this painting presented me with a major problem. I usually like my wildlife subjects to be somewhat subtle and incorporated into the environment. The panda is perhaps the least subtle of all animals with its striking black and white pattern and almost trite 'stuffed toy' image. One theory for the reason for this colour is that they are anti-social and try to avoid each other. This pattern makes them visible to each other before they get too close. I decided to make the strong black and white of the panda subservient to an even more striking black and white waterfall and to lay the panda back behind some mist. The source material for my pandas came from the live animals at the Metro Toronto Zoo and Washington, DC Zoo. The pose of my subject is absolutely typical. The spine of a panda curves
so they sit on their lower back with their legs spread apart forming a very stable
triangle. They are evidently almost totally single-minded in their interest in food,
which is usually bamboo. I have tried to avoid the obvious cuteness by picturing
him as a slightly scruffy old sage of the mountains, reminiscent of early Chinese paintings on silk." - Robert Bateman
“Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1930, Robert Bateman was a keen artist and naturalist from his early days. Bateman painted wildlife and wilderness in a representational style until his teens when he began to interpret nature using a variety of contemporary styles including post-impressionism and abstract expressionism. In the early 60s, Bateman rediscovered realism and began to develop the style that would make him one of the foremost artists depicting the world of nature. In the 70s and early 80s, Bateman's work began to receive critical acclaim and to attract an enormous following.
Since his first one-man show in 1967, Bateman has had numerous sell-out exhibitions in Canada, the United States and Great Britain. His work is in many public and private collections, including several art museums. He was commissioned by the Governor General of Canada to do a painting as the wedding gift for HRH The Prince Charles from the people of Canada. His work is also included in the collections HRH The Prince Philip, the late Princess Grace of Monaco and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Bateman has had many one-man museum shows throughout North America, including an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; most of these shows have drawn record-breaking crowds. His honours, awards and honorary doctorates are numerous, he was made Officer of the Order of Canada, our country's highest civilian award. He has also been the subject of three films. Two books of his art, "The Art of Robert Bateman" and "The World of Robert Bateman", have made publishing history; they have sold more that half a million copies.”