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Manjit Bawa

Sunday, May 10th, 2009 | Author:

bawa_2Manjit Bawa is one of the finest known painters of India. Coming from a small town called Dhuri in Punjab, he was never really encouraged to paint his life colours and make art his career. He was often told by his mother how art would never fetch him any money. But art was Manjit’s passion and there was no looking back at it from then on. With support from his elder brother, Manjit studied at the ‘School of Fine Arts’, New Delhi. In the initial days of his struggle, Bawa made fifty sketches a day all to be rejected by his instructor under whom he gained the light of knowledge for art – Abani Sen. Bawa truly credits Sen without whom, he believes that he wouldn’t be such a fine artist as he is today. Bawa studied art as well as worked as a silkscreen printer in Britain from 1964 to 1971. After returning from Britain, he just did not want to be typical European style painter. Bawa wanted to bring Indian culture, Indian mythology and traditions to life with his work. Bawa’s work thus saw a lot of Indianness in them.



Nature has inspired Bawa to paint the countryside landscape. As a young boy, Bawa would travel and draw beautiful landscapes. Simplicity fascinated Bawa. He would paint natural landscapes, epics from Ramayana and the Mahabharata and even Sufi poetries which he studied as a child. One always finds birds and animals in his paintings. Besides nature, flute was something that one gets to see in his paintings often.