By the 1940s, Indian politics, economy and society underwent great changes. Most of the world including India felt the brutal force of World War II, India however was also amidst its struggle for independence from British rule. The war brought to India many Europeans and American; who came as soldiers and refugees and interactions with the foreigners left an impression on the art practices.

The strings of this restlessness reached Mumbai by 1947 which led to the formation of the Progressive Artists Group. Artists who joined this group were Francis Newton Souza, Maqbool Fida Husain, Syed Haider Raza, Krishna Howlaji Ara, Hari Ambadas Gade, and S Bakre, a sculptor. The group of young artists felt an affinity with international modernism and dwelled on the formal values of a painting.

K.H Ara not a formally trained artist caught the eye of art critic, of the time, Rudy Von Leyden and later completed a Certificate in Foundation Course from the Ketkar Institute of Art, Mumbai.

Ara in his work explored the physicality of form which was brought out by his sensuous application of paint which is evident in this work. Even though he painted landscapes dabbled in other genres and themes he is best known for his still lifes and nudes which were both the preferred genres of European artists. Some of his best still lifes with their intimate arrangement of fruits, flowers and furniture were painted in the 50’s and 60’s that were delightful and inviting presentations of familiar forms.


  • Title: Still Life
  • Creator: Krishna Howlaji Ara
  • Date Created: mid 20th century
  • Physical Dimensions: w1090 x h740 cm (Without frame)
  • Type: Oil on paper
  • Rights: National Gallery of Modern Art, National Gallery of Modern Art

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