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Drawing

Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Bengal (made)

  • Date:

    1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Drawn in ink on cardboard

  • Museum number:

    IS.79-1985

  • 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 artist has used ink on a pre-printed postcard to depict an obese caged man. The man is seated on a swing suspended by metal chains inside a zoo cage. Above him three small figures, resembling ganas or mischievous boys. The postcard is inscribed on the back: "A strange newcomer in our cage/from Bombay!!"

Physical description

The scene, in ink on a postcard, depicts an obese caged man. The figure is seated on a swing suspended by metal chains inside a zoo cage. Above him three small figures, resembling ganas or mischievous boys.

Place of Origin

Bengal (made)

Date

1920 (made)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Drawn in ink on cardboard

Marks and inscriptions

'a strange newcomer in our cage/from Bombay!... Nanda'
handwritten

Dimensions

Height: 8.2 cm, Width: 13.3 cm, Height: 21.2 cm, Width: 27.9 cm

Object history note

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

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, caged man, by Nandalal Bose, ink on postcard, Bengal, 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

Cardboard; Ink

Techniques

Drawn; Drawn

Subjects depicted

Boys; Cage; Man

Categories

Drawings; Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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