About the artist
Jamini Roy is one of the major artists from the 20th century in the Indian art history and is regarded as the early masters of modernism in Indian art. He was the first Indian artist whose work was both quintessentially Indian and modern at the same time. He has experimented with Bengali folk paintings which were inspired by the Kalighat paintings along with the different village patuas. The main theme of his paintings was lives of rural Bengali and Indian festivities, celebrations like marriages. Throughout his works, his brush strokes were largely bold and sweeping. He used to paint on materials like cloth, mats and even wood coated with lime. The artist experimented with natural colors and pigments derived from mud, chalk powder and flowers.
Roy, born in 1887 in Beliatore in West Bengal, India. He studied under Abanindranath Tagore, the founder of Bengal school and vice-principal at the institution at the Government College of Art, Kolkata, at age of 16. He received a diploma in Fine Arts in 1908. While there, he learned academic drawing and painting in the Western tradition. After graduating, Roy adopted the simple forms, flat colors, and humble paints of Bengali folk artists. The artist garnered impressive success throughout his career and produced over 20,000 paintings during his lifetime!
Roy was honoured with Padma Bhushan (1955), by The Indian Government. He awarded Fellow of Lalit Kala Akademi (1956) and a D. Lit was conferred by Rabindra Bharati University (1967). Roy’s works can be found in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, and the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, among others.
Roy died on April 24, 1972 in Kolkata, India. In 1976, the Archaeological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India declared his works among the ‘Nine Masters’ whose work, to be henceforth considered “to be art treasures, having regard to their artistic and aesthetic value.”