David Bates was born in Cambridgeshire. He spent most of his early life in Worcestershire, where he became apprenticed at the Royal Worcester Porcelain Works. A painter in both oils and watercolours, Bates visited North Africa, before returning to paint landscapes mostly of Wales and Scotland. He shows the influence of Benjamin Williams Leader (1831-1923), Joseph Thors and S.H. Baker.
David Bates also made small oil sketches of hedges and plants, which were usually inscribed on the reverse. The artist’s works display considerable technical virtuosity, ranging from the serene landscape, to the uneven swagger of his later works, which were noticeably less colourful.
Although Bates was more than capable of producing refined landscapes, he was equably as capable of painting detailed and well-balanced figures. His landscapes at their best are full, lush and always distinctive. All display his love for open air painting, particularly in his treatment of rivers, trees, foliage and not forgetting his figures.
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