Charles Bartlett Biography

Born in 1860 in Bridport, Dorsetshire, England. After studying chemistry and metallurgy, Bartlett worked for several years in a metallurgical firm, but he could not abandon his interest in art, and he entered the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 1883. After three years of study there, he entered the Academic Julian in Paris, where he studied oil painting, watercolor, and etching. After returning to England in 1889, he traveled in Brittany and Italy with his friend Frank Brangwyn for several years, creating watercolor works. In 1897, Bartlett was selected a member of the Societe des Aquarellistes Beiges, and of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts in France. The following year he re-married, and once again visited Brittany and the Netherlands. His paintings and etchings which take the landscape and farmers as their subject matter were highly appreciated, and he became one of the founding members of the Societe de la Peinture a 1'Eau in Paris..  In 1913, he planned a five to six year trip to Asia with his wife. Traveling through India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, the couple arrived in Japan via China in the autumn of 1915. There Bartlett visited the Watanabe Print Shop with the sketches and watercolors from his travels. He practiced his print under-drawings with Japanese style brushes received from Shozaburo Watanabe, and through a trial-and-error process with Shozaburo, using Capelari's prints as their guide, he published a series of landscape prints of India and Japan in 1916. Bartlett left Japan in 1917. En route to England he stopped off in Honolulu, where he ended up settling. His exhibitions of watercolor paintings and woodblock prints were well received in Honolulu and soon Bartlett became a central figure in the art world of Honolulu. He returned to Japan in 1919, and the Watanabe Print Shop published sixteen works, including some with Hawaiian subjects. During the 1920s and 1930s, Bartlett held a number of individual shows in both Hawaii and the American mainland, and his paintings and prints were published in the Paradise of the Pacific magazine. In 1933 he established the Honolulu Print Makers. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1939, and he died in Honolulu on April 16th of the following year.  Source: Eyes Toward Asia, 1996 Yokohama Art Museum exhibition catalog