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Jamini Roy

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 | Author:

Jamini Roy is one of the most renowned artists of modern India. He was was born in Bengal in 1887. His father Ramataran Roy was an amateur artist who, after resignation from government service, spent the rest of his life in his village.

Jamini Roy came to Calcutta in 1903 where he studied at the Government School of Art. In 1908 he achieved his Diploma in Fine Art. However, soon he established a special painting technique motivated chiefly by traditional Indian folk and village arts, predominantly those of Bengal. Through his oil paintings, he gave expression to the views of every-day livelihood of the people in rural Bengal.

Jamini Roy went back to his native place to reach the very foundation of the folk-tradition where he studied with the patuas, their approach and technique. Jamini Roy earned recognition by developing his own language of painting which he termed as ‘Flat Technique’. Jamini Roy used inexpensive native colours and dyes for his art so that even the rich as well as the poor could reach them without much difficulty. He also proposed his own paintings from home-grown materials like lampblack, chalk-powder, leaves and creepers.

Some of his most popular paintings include St. Ann and the Blessed Virgin, Makara, Cats Plus, Seated Woman in Sari, Krishna and Radha Dancing, Kitten, Virgin and Child, Crucifixion with Attendant Angels, Ravana, Sita and Jatayu, Warrior King, Krishna with Gopis in Boat, Krishna and Balarama.

Jamini Roy’s works were first exhibited in Calcutta at the British India Street in 1938. Jamini Roy’s images become popular during the 1940s and customer list incorporated both the Bengali middle class and European community. His work was exhibited internationally in 1946, in London and in 1953, in New York.

Jamini Roy’s paintings flourish in exceptional vivacity. Jamini Roy plays a major role in providing a broader base to the art of contemporary India by elevating it with cultural essence. Jamini Roy was honored with the Padma Bhushan in 1955. He died in 1972 in Calcutta.