||National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
||Mukul Dey (1895-1989)
|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.
||3 x 5 inch
||Mukul Dey in his artistic
career, developed prints narrating 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. In the above print, the artist has depicted
a Santhal maiden walking amid a garden, rendered with bold, firm yet fluid
strokes incised on to a metal sheet and transferred on the plain surface with
the help of ink, delineating the contours of the figure.
||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. The artist is also known for popularising the concept of printmaking in India and produced several reproductions of the portraits of famous personalities he had made.