Exhibition History : Displayed in the exhibition 'Jamini Roy: Journey to the Roots 1887 - 1972 ' at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi on the occasion of the 125th Birth Anniversary of the artist, June - December 2013. 2) Jamini Roy (1887-1972) Centenary Exhibition. New Delhi: National Gallery of Modern Art, 1987.
Additional Information: Jamini Roy was one of the earliest and most significant modernists of Indian art. Trained in the British academic style of painting Jamini Roy became well-known as a skilful portraitist. He received regular commissions after he graduated from the Government Art School Kolkata, in 1916. However influenced by the growing surge of nationalism, Jamini Roy consciously rejected the style and searched for forms that stirred the innermost recesses of his being. He sought inspiration from East Asian calligraphy, terracotta temple friezes, folk arts and crafts traditions. From 1920 onwards Roy’s works had representation of village scenes reflecting the innocence and romanticism of rural environment. Jamini Roy did a suite of paintings featuring Santal women, sensuously painted in firm angular lines and hinted stylisation, engaged in their daily chores. From the mid-1920s, his images were executed in sweeping, calligraphic lines showing the artist's strong control over the brush. Colour was leached out of the paintings resulting in series of monochromatic pictures that hinted at inspiration from East Asian painting styles, Kalighat pats. The imagery was drawn from everyday life-mother and child figures, women, bauls and so on. By the end of 1920s, Jamini Roy turned for inspiration towards the folk arts and craft traditions of his district, Bankura. He painted ordinary rural people, scenes from Krishna-leela, scenes from epics, icons from folk cults of the region, witty representations of animals. Perhaps, one of the boldest experiments in figuration and narrativisation was the series from the life of Jesus Christ and the episodes from Christian mythology. It is interesting that till the 1930s, along with his folk-style paintings, Jamini Roy also continued to paint portraits with impressionist and even pointillist brushstrokes. The medium in the later years was however tempera. Jamini Roy also made wonderful copies of European masters as tools for honing his visual language.
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