Exact Match
Santhal Village
Title Santhal Village
Museum Name National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
Gallery Name NGMA-New Delhi
Object Type Print
Main Material Graphic Print - etching
Main Artist Mukul Dey (1895-1989)
Artist's Nationality Indian
Artist's Life Date / Bio Data Mukul Dey was born on 23rd July 1895 in Sridhar Khola village in West Bengal. Mukul Dey was sent to Santiniketan in 1907 at the behest of his father and received education in an informal fashion until 1911. By 1912, Mukul Dey left Santiniketan to study art under Abanindranath Tagore who initiated the young artist to the art of etching. Three years of training with Abanindranath allowed him to further train his skills and his works were exhibited in European cities through the exhibitions sent by the Indian Society of Oriental Art. Through his stay at Jorasanko W.W. Pearson took keen interest in the works of Mukul Dey and introduced him to the technique of dry - point etching. He also arranged for the artist's trip to Japan with Rabindranath Tagore where he met Yokoyama Taikwan, Shimamura Kwanzan and Tomitaro Hara. Dey also got the opportunity during 1916-17 to travel extensively throughout the United States. In Chicago, Dey trained with J. Blanding Sloan and was elected a member of the Chicago Society of Etchers. Mukul Dey on his return to India travelled extensively making copies of the ancient frescoes at the Ajanta and Bagh caves. To earn his livelihood he started making commissioned portraits which were published in the Bombay Chronicle and Illustrated Weekly. Mukul Dey also sold his copies of the Ajanta paintings to study in England and it was in the year 1920 that he first joined the Slade School of Art and then earned himself a scholarship into the Royal College of Art to study painting. In England, Mukul Dey also continued to learn etching under Sir Muirhead Bone, eminent artist and printmaker and Sir Frank Short, President of the Royal Society of Etchers. His works were displayed in several exhibitions in England which drew much admiration from the art critics. Mukul Dey was simultaneously delivering lectures on Indian art and history. Mukul Dey permanently returned to India in 1927 and was appointed as the first Principal of Government School of Art in Calcutta. Mukul Dey is known as pioneer of printmaking in India as he introduced the knowledge of graphics, particularly of dry point and etching.
Country India
Inscription Signed and dated 'Mukul Dey 21-10-16' in English at the bottom right corner of the print with pencil and has an inscription which reads '4th State' at the bottom left corner of the print.
Dimensions 16.5 X 11.5 cms
Detailed Description Mukul Dey is known as the pioneer of printmaking in India for introducing the knowledge of graphics, particularly of dry point and etching acquired from his study in England and his extensive tours to America, Europe and Japan. His works assimilate the best of western technical skills and Indian thought as reflected in his paintings and graphic prints. With his exquisite drawing skills, Mukul Dey started painting portraits early in his career and continued it all through life making a living out of his art. He made portraits of famous personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, to name a few. The artist is also known for popularising the concept of printmaking in India and produced several reproductions of the portraits of the famous personalities he had done. He also developed prints narrating the Indian subjects and themes, particularly acclaimed are those of the Bengali women, the street corners of Bengal, the rivers, Santhals and the cityscape of Calcutta with its colonial monuments, busy by lanes and the river front. His works were also published in reputed journals as Prabashi, Bharati and Modern Review. Mukul Dey also has to his credit publications as: My Pilgrimages to Ajanta and Bagh (London 1925), My Reminiscences (Calcutta 1938), Dry points and Drawings from the Life of Mahatma Gandhi (Calcutta, 1948), Birbhum Terracotta (New Delhi 1957), Indian Life and Legends (1974). The artist was also an avid art collector particularly of the rural folk paintings of Bengal, handicrafts and the works produced by the artists of the Bengal School.
Brief Description The collection of NGMA has close to 390 artworks of Mukul Dey which include drawings, sketches and prints acquired by the museum from the artist's family and from other private art collections. The artist's works include portraits and drawings of the renowned personalities of the time from diverse fields of politics, literature, science, education and also of the leading entrepreneurs, acquaintances, family members and friends. Apart from the portraits the collection also has paintings executed in the Bengal School style portraying landscapes especially of the Bengal countryside, the native people in all their glory, the flora and fauna, the saints and Bauls preaching wisdom through the villages, the monuments and also those narrating the religious fables, the folk tales and customs of the land. Mukul Dey mastered the technical nuances of the western print making process to express the romanticism and mysticism of the Indian culture. His stay at Santiniketan was particularly fruitful in the backdrop of the naturalistic surroundings of the place which is amply reflected in some of his early sketches of the Santhal tribes.