Nandalal Bose



Nandalal Bose was born on 3 rd December 1883 in Kharagpur in Monghyr District of Bihar province. Purnachandra Bose was his father and his mother was Kshetramani Devi.She died at Nandalal's tender age of eight but her influence on him was strong.The picturesque beauty of nature in Kharargpur made a profound impression on the young mind of Nandalal Bose.The rivers, the mountains and the paddy fields were the quintessential objects to inspire a mind with artistic temperament.

He was born in a large family of hundred members. His mother had great faith in Hindu Gods and Goddesses, being an orthodox woman.His father was also a man of virtues and discipline. He worked hard and systematically. Nandalal watched his mother making Rangoli using many colors keenly. He was more interested in the creative activities than academics.

Right through boyhood Nandalal Bose had profound interest in art and related activities. He watched the doll-making process unstoppably. He liked colored pictures immensely; making copies of the pictures of the old magazines and books was the beginning of his apprenticeship in drawing.

At the age of 15 he went to Calcutta for further studies. His heart was always in art. He spent all his time in collecting

books and magazines to be able to study the works of great painters. He even spent his money meant for his school fees on art.

He was married to Sudhira Devi while his age was twenty and he was still a student. On insistence of his father-in-law he joined Presidency College. Even at this college he was not able to concentrate on studies for the passionate inclination towards painting.

Nandalal tried incessantly to find someone to teach him how to paint perfectly. He learnt model-drawings, still-life and sauce painting from his cousin Atul Mitra. He copied the paintings of the European professional artists. One such was Raphael's “Madonna”. He was also influenced by Raja Ravi Varma .Abanindranath Tagore's paintings,”Sujata” and “Bajra-Mukut” were also his guiding paths.

Abanindranath Tagore was to Nandalal Bose what Ramakrishna was to Swami Vivekananda.Abanindranath Tagore made him his desciple, he himself, Abanindra's European friend Havell and Lala Ishwari Prasad liked his earlier works. Nandalal then became a sincere desciple of Abanindra.When Nandalal's father-in-law ask ed him,whether it was possible to run your family from this petty art only, Abanindranath replied: “I will take care of him”.

Under him he grew in to a fine artist. Abanindranath was not just a teacher but a devoted artist.He was a learner with the artist. The history of India, mythological stories, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata had a special place in his teachings. He made paintings on variety of themes- Siddhartha tending the wounded swan, the sorrow of Dasharatha, Goddess Kali, Sathyabhama, Krishna, Shiva's Thandava Dance, Bheeshma's Oath, Gandhari, Dhritharashtra, Sanjaya - were shaped by Nandalal's imagination. There were others themes inspired by 'Bethala Panchavimshathi' stories. His 'Sati' was a work, which won much praise all over.Havell ahd great faith on the genius of Nandalal Bose.

As a result of the efforts of Havell, Sir John Woodroffe, Sister Nivedita, Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore and others, there came Indian Society of Oriental Art into being . Indian Society of Oriental Art warded Nandalal Bose a prize of Rs500 at their first art exhibition. He used this money in tour of whole India, thus he could get clearer picture of India.

Nandalal Bose's principal was to make art for the people's sake.He wanted even the common people to have paintings in their homes. Once at Banupur he drew a number of pictures and sold them at four annas. Rabeendranath Tagore like him very much He welcomed him when Nandalal took charge of Art Department of Shantiniketan.

He died on 16 th April 1966, at the age of 83.he has become immortal for the greatness of the creations which he had crafted through his strokes of brushes. Showering tributes, renowned art critic C.H Prahlad Rao observed-“ A celebrated painter of modern India. A genius who was admired in many countries. His was an attractive personality, which combined boundless learning and a unique genius with unaffected modesty and gentle humor”

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