Pat Steele

The English naf painter of San Pantaleo

Pat Steele was the nom de plume of Patricia Steed, born in Brighton in the United Kingdom. Her paintings express the felicity and wholesomeness that she had in her heart. They often depict smiling farm-yard animals, chickens, cows, donkeys, a heard of sheep, always with at least one mischievous black sheep in the middle and then the more exotic animals, elephants, zebras, hippopotamuses, tortoises etc., always in very human attire or composure.

Her other favourite is Queen Elizabeth I, with a sombre expression and her magnificent regal gowns and finely embroydered collars, of which she has painted many a portrait, each one very different from the other.

You would always find her smiling, hospitable and forever ready to help anyone in need. Pat lived with her cats and dogs in her naif little house, all seeming to have just stepped out of one of her paintings.  A critic (Manuela Fraire) once said: "Her paintings, which she herself ironically described as kitchen paintings are small masterpieces of playful understatement".

Pat at dinner with Raphael Neville (founder of Porto Raphael)

Debutante Pat (on left) at a royal ball

Pat in full youthful splendor

Pat, sofisticated lady

Pat in tender embrace with a little guest

Pat lived in San Pantaleo, which is a delightful little town nestling in the mountains just close to Porto Cervo in Sardinia, first "discovered" by artist Olaf Christensen and Eliane in the '60s and more recently under Pat's influence, has very much become a refuge place for many artists and eccentric foreigners. 

Pat was very kindly granted a life tenure of her pretty little home in the village by a fan and generous benefactor of hers, Count Henry De Beaumont, who lavishly hung her paintings alongside with Picassos in his stately home in Rome. On his passing away, his daughter Gaia kindly respected her father's unwritten wish and let Pat stay on till her final days.

Count Henry De Beaumont

This home became a focal point for all Costa Smeralda visitors to San Pantaleo, where Pat occasionally would sell one of her most sought after paintings. Pat had numerous illustrious friends, including Lady Dufferin, who often invited her to cocktails with  Queen Elizabeth II. Pat's companion was George Von Lowenstein, a noble and cultured Polish gentleman.

Marchioness Lady Maureen Dufferin

Interior photos of Pat's home by Tiziano Canu

Pat passed away at the age of  79 years and sleeps in peace in Olbia.
Click here for a touching farewell written by Paola Brandano (in Italian)


    Copyright L. Camillo 2016