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.
In 1937, at Mahatma Gandhi’s request he agreed to decorate the Congress Pavilion at Haripura in Gujarat. Bose, helped by his students, painted a large number of panels used as wall inserts. The series became famous and was collectively known as the Haripura Posters. Bose chose as his themes, scenes of everyday life, people from ordinary walks of life, animals, vegetation and so on.
‘Tailor’ is a fine example of the kind of paintings done for the Haripura Posters. The paintings draw inspiration from the vigorous, yet breezy, calligraphic brushstrokes of Kalighat paintings. The colour palette is vivid. In ‘Tailor’, Bose represents an old man concentrating on his work, with supple, almost playful lines and bright colours.