In this section for D’s Art Takes, we pick one artist to showcase their work and creative journey so far. Today, we look at the Indian artist Kshitindranath Majumdar.
There is a lyrical quality about Kshitindranath’s paintings, that echo of a time that is long gone. They tell of pastimes that are yet unrevealed to man. Perhaps this is the reason why this much revered artist from the 19th century Bengal school is known as the saintly artist.
Born on 31 July 1891 in a small village in Murshidabad, in West Bengal – known by the name of Jagtai on the banks of the Ganges, this little boy would grow up to be a world renowned artist. Losing his mother at a young age, Kshitindranath was loving nurtured and cared for by his father Kedarnath Majumdar. He had an inclination towards the performing arts and had his own Jatra Dal. Theyoung Kshitindranath naturally participated in several of the theaters and thus his taste and eye for aesthetics developed and a love for the sense of drama grew.
The boy was a talented artist and the Zamindar of Nimtai, Mahendra Narayan Roy suggested to his father that the boy be sent to study art at the Government school of art in Kolkata. This was where he was tutored by the one and only Abanindranath Tagore. Kshitindranath never forgot this act of kindness from the Zamindar and he wrote in gratitude “If God has given me any fame then it is because of Mahendra Narayan, who convinced my father to admit me at Government School of Art at Kolkata.”
Between 1912 and 1930 , Majumdar served as an art teacher and then later as the Princial of the Indian Society of Oriental Art in Kolkata, and then in Allahabad University for 1942-1964.
The Bengal School Of Painting
Kshitindranath was responsible for the revival of the Bengal scholl ofpAinting that had been propelled by his teacher Abanindranath Tagor. The luminous colours the graceful wisp like figures in their idyllic settings were a balm to soothe the soul. He was famous for his depiction of mythological characters and religious subjects. Many such works reveal his personal understanding of “Bhakti” devotion.
He was greatly influenced by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Vaisnavism which repeatedly emerge in hios works in the expressions and the sublime contexts and choice of themes.
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