Jamini Roy was born in Bengal in 1887 into a middle-class family
of land-owners. When he was sixteen he was sent to study at the Government School of Art
in Calcutta. He was taught to paint in the prevailing academic tradition drawing Classical
nudes and painting in oils and in 1908 he received his Diploma in Fine Art. However, he
soon realised that he needed to draw inspiration, not from Western traditions, but from
his own culture, and so he looked to the living folk and tribal art for inspiration. He
was most influenced by the Kaiighat Pat, with its bold sweeping brush-strokes. He moved
away from his earlier impressionist landscapes and portraits and between 1921 and 1924
began his first period of experimentation with the Santhal dance as his starting point.
His new style was both a reaction against the Bengal School and the Western tradition. His
underlying quest was threefold to capture the essence of simplicity embodied in the life
of the folk people; to make art accessible to a wider section of people; and to give
Indian art its own identity. He was awarded the Padma Bhusan in 1955. His work has been
exhibited extensively in international exhibitions and can be found in many private and
public collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He spent most of his
life living and working in Calcutta.
Jamini Roy died in 1972.
Three marys (recto)
Gouache on Panel
24" x 12"
Gouache on Card
17" x 12"
Mother and Child
Gouache on card
17" x 12"