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Drawing

Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Kolkata (made)

  • Date:

    1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bose, Nandalal, born 1882 - died 1966 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Drawn in pencil on postcard

  • Museum number:

    IS.78-1985

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Nandalal Bose (1883-1966) was an influential figure of the Bengal School of Art. He was an immediate disciple of Abanindranath Tagore, the leading artist and exponent of the school, as well as the reformist art teacher Dr E. B. Havell. Adhering to his mentor's patriotic commitment, Nandalal retrieved themes from the Indian epic past or scenes from romantic tales and reworked them in a highly romanticised style.

The scene is depicted in pencil on a pre-printed postcard. A room filled with seated figures is seen through a barred window. A leering turbanned figure is entering from the right, beneath a board bearing the letters I.O.A.S. (The Indian Sociery fro Oriental Art in Calcutta). The society was founded in 1907. Around 1920, it underwent a period of reorganization, and a permanent gallery was established. The society also organized art classes, of which Bose was a teacher for an indefinite period ending in 1919.

Physical description

The scene is depicted in pencil on pre-printed postcard. A room filled with seated figures is seen through a barred window. A leering turbanned figure is entering from the right, beneath a board bearing the letters I.O.A.S. (The Indian Sociery for Oriental Art in Calcutta).

Place of Origin

Kolkata (made)

Date

1920 (made)

Artist/maker

Bose, Nandalal, born 1882 - died 1966 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Drawn in pencil on postcard

Marks and inscriptions

Postmarked Simla, 6 February 20 and Calcutta, 7 Februrary 20.

Dimensions

Height: 13.4 cm, Width: 8.3 cm, Height: 21.2 cm Conservation paper upon which card is mounted, Width: 27.9 cm Conservation paper upon which card is mounted

Object history note

From the Collection of Roop Krishna. Sold at Sotheby's on 15 April 1985. RF: 85/1321

Historical significance: The society was founded in 1907. Around 1920, it underwent a period of reorganization, and a permanent gallery was established. The society also organized art classes, of which Bose was a teacher for an indefinite period ending in 1919.

Historical context note

Nandalal Bose (1883-1996) was an influential figure of the Bengal School of Art. He was an immediate disciple of Abanindranath Tagore, the leading artist and exponent of the school, as well as the reformist art teacher Dr E. B. Havell. Adhering to his mentor's patriotic commitment, Nandalal retrieved themes from the Indian epic past or scenes from romantic tales and reworked them in a highly romanticised style.

To fulfil his desire to learn about Indian art of the past, he visited and studied the murals of Ajanta in 1910 (with Lady Herringham) and the Bagh caves in 1921. After a few years in the Art School, Nandalal and Abanindranath's students worked in the Vichitra Club, a cultural organization set up in the Tagore household. In 1919 he started teaching in the Kala Bhavan (college of the arts and crafts) at Santiniketan and in 1922 he became its principal. His principalship enabled him to explore his enduring fascination with murals, festival decorations and theatre stages. Here he pioneered the teaching of handicrafts and fostered the belief that art should not be cultivated merely for its own sake, but should responsibly cater for the interest of society. In 1924 he travelled to China and Japan with polymath Rabanindranath Tagore.

Bose mastered several different painting styles; he adopted Abanindranath Tagore's wash technique, and experimented with Chinese and Japanese brushwork. He also developed his own more formal, bold, linear style. Nandalal was an enthusiastic supporter of the Indian independence movement and the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. He created artworks for some of Gandhi's political events, including the Haripura congress of 1937 and after India gained independence he was commissioned to illustrate the new Indian constitution.

Descriptive line

Drawing, meeting of the Indian Society of Oriental Art, Calcutta, by Nandalal Bose, pencil on postcard, Kolkata, 1920

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Dr Ratan Parimoo, The paintings of the three great Tagores: Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore and Rabindranath Tagore. Chronology and comparative studies, 1973

Materials

Pencil; Cardboard

Techniques

Drawn

Categories

Drawings; Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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