||Butter Milk Churner
||National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
||Tempera on paper
||Nandalal Bose (1882-1966)
|Artist's Life Date / Bio Data
||Nandalal Bose, popularly known as the Master Moshai, was born on December 3rd, 1882 in Kharagpur, Monghyr District, Bihar. A disciple of Abanindranath Tagore, he graduated from Government School of Art, Calcutta in 1910. Nandalal was fascinated by the potential of folk art and indigenous modes of expression and inculcated them in his works although stylising them in a unique representation for depiction and narration of local life. His explorative temperament with artistic materials allowed him to create a vast body of work with printmaking techniques such as lithography, linoleum prints and Sino-Japanese techniques while remaining faithful to his narrative subject: India's environment and its ethos. Nandalal Bose's art conjures newness unbound, yet it is flushed with the memories of yesterday. Inspired by Far Eastern sensibilities that celebrate the traditional, the genius of his art lies in the interplay of sensual silhouettes and his powerful rendering of contemporary themes with the traditions, customs and sensibilities of Indian heritage. It is this intermingling that invigorates his works and captures the minds of his viewers. He began his artistic career in the fervour of the Swadeshi movement, rejecting western colonial norms of art and taking inspiration from the ancient murals of Ajanta and Bagh caves as well as Mughal miniatures. In 1919, Nandalal Bose accepted Rabindranath Tagore's invitation to become the Principal of the newly established art school Kala Bhavan at Visvabharati University in Santiniketan. He travelled in and out of India including places like Burma, China, Japan, Malaysia, Java and Sri Lanka seeking artistic stimulus from observing different cultural traditions. He also painted a series of posters for the Indian National Congress at Haripura in February 1938. The range of Nandalal's artistic expression is seen in his various landscapes with human figures, his varied images of nature and the Santiniketan Murals. His works reflect the changing landscape, portraying people and places at a time when modern India's cultural development was at its threshold. Nandalal Bose died on April 16th, 1966 in Santiniketan, West Bengal. He won several accolades including the Padma Vibhushan by the President of India in 1953. He was awarded with an honorary Doctorate in Letters (D. Litt.) from Banaras Hindu University in 1950 and Calcutta University in 1957. The NGMA has over 6800 of his works in its collection.
||Signed 'Nanda' in Bengali in the bottom-right corner of the poster.
||59.4 x 60 cms
||Initial contentHaripura posters by
Nandalal capture moments of everyday Indian village life and culture. This
particular poster shows his acute observation of the surroundings in which he
has depicted a woman engaged in an activity of churning the buttermilk. The
illustration has been articulated with the earthy colour palette and
spontaneous and energetic graphic lines which aptly limn the figure with the
artist's personal sensibilities.
||In 1937, inspired by the folk arts and crafts traditions of India, Nandalal Bose at the behest of Mahatma Gandhi created the famous Haripura posters. These large paintings depicting the daily chores of the village communities were to be displayed at the 1938 Indian National Congress convention at Haripura, Gujarat. This particular artwork from the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, is one of them. As Shankho Chaudhary in his essay, 'Haripura Posters', in the book, 'Nandalal Bose (1882-1966) Centenary Exhibition' elucidates, "Both in style and technique this type of painting and bamboo and reed structures have come to stay as decorations symbolic of Gandhian philosophy and if the term could be used, Gandhian aesthetics. An awareness that is Nandalal's contribution to the nation."