The most significant of artist Abanindranath Tagore’s students, Nandalal Bose moved to Santiniketan to teach at Kala Bhavana in 1920 at the invitation of Rabindranth Tagore. At Kala Bhavana, Bose experimented with a new visual language in which artists drew from life and the relationship between man and nature. This theme played a crucial role in his images. Bose, in evolving his own style of expression, gathered inspiration from other visual cultures.
One of Nandalal Bose’s most significant contributions to modern Indian art was the revival of the magnificent mural tradition that had existed in India from classical to the medieval times. His experiments in mural painting, along with his students on the walls of various buildings in Santiniketan, have yielded remarkable works of art. The NGMA has cartoons of the murals Bose created for the Kirti Mandir at Baroda in 1946.
Abhimanue Badh is one such cartoon, which refers to a story from the Mahabharata where the young hero Abhimanue is unfairly and tragically slain. This image evokes all the drama and the pathos of the doomed, outnumbered hero making, nevertheless, an undaunted stand.