Artist Maxwell Bennett Bates
Title Untitled - Jester Before the Court
Media watercolour on paper
Size 19 x 17 in. / 48.3 x 43.2 cm.
Frame Size 31.25 x 23.25 x 1 in.
signed and dated lower left; graphite sketch verso; framed with archival mat; some minor ripples in paper noted
purchased at the Max Bates Estate Auction in Victoria; private collection, British Columbia
Maxwell Bennett Bates ~ [1906-1980] Canadian ASA, CGP, CSPWC, RCA
Maxwell Bennett Bates was born in Calgary in 1906. He studied painting under Lars Haukaness at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art. In 1931, he moved to England to study painting and architecture where he became a member of the “Twenties Group” which was supported by Lucy Wertheim. Bates continued to live in England until 1939 when he joined the Princess Louise Machine Gun Battalion. As part of the 51st Highland Division, he was sent off to fight in France but was captured by Germans at Dunkirk. He worked as a Prisoner of War at a Thuringian salt mine for the next five years. After being freed by American forces, Maxwell Bates returned to Calgary in 1946 to work at his father’s architecture firm. Bates ‘s career as an artist flourished throughout the 50s. He held multiple exhibitions throughout Canada and became a member of Canadian Group of Painters in 1957. In 1961, he suffered a stroke which left him partially paralyzed. He moved to Victoria soon after and continued his innovations with art. He became a founding member and the president of the Limners and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary in 1971. A retrospective of his work was held at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1973 and he was awarded the order of Canada in 1980, shortly before his death.
see Maxwell Bates, Retrospective Exhibition, by R.Bloore, Norman Mackenzie, 1961; Maxwell Bates, by C.Graham, AGGV, 1966; Maxwell Bates, by F.Eckhardt, WAG, 1968; Maxwell Bates, in Retrospect, by T.Guernsey, VAG, 1973; Maxwell Bates, A Retrospective, by I.Thom, AGGV, 1982; Maxwell Bates: Landscapes 1948-1978, by N.Townshend, Medicine Hat Art Gallery, 1982; Maxwell Bates, Biography of an Artist, by K.Snow, U. of Calgary Press; Maxwell Bates: Canada's Premier Expressionist of the 20th Century, by N.Townshend, 2005; wrote and illustrated A Wilderness of Days, by Maxwell Bates, Sono Nis Press, 1978; biography in Benezit, Tome 1, pg.506; listed on Artists in Canada, a Union List of Artists' Files, by National Gallery of Canada Library et al, Canadian Heritage Information Network [CHIN] website