Hal Bevan Petman – The Forgotten “Society Painter

Romano Karim Yusuf’s interest in the artist Hal Bevan-Petman dates back from his childhood in Rawalpindi. His first memories are of seeing him sitting painting under a tree at the Rawalpindi club (now an army officer mess). The rooms and halls of the club had his painting on display, and later in his teens, started noticing the various portraits he had done for prominent families of the area as well as army generals. Over the past 12 years, Romano has researched what, as far as he has been able to ascertain, is Pakistan’s only male British born artist. He was the Subcontinent’s best portrait painter, and all the rich and famous of the land have his portraits in their homes. Being what is called a ‘society painter’ Petman has never got the recognition he deserved. Petman lived here, painted here, died here, but no one has seen fit to follow up and collate his work in any shape or form.