Exact Match
Title Peacock
Museum Name National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
Gallery Name NGMA-New Delhi
Object Type Painting
Main Material
Medium Watercolor on Paper
Main Artist Nandalal Bose (1882-1966)
Artist's Nationality Indian
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.
Origin Place India
Period / Year of Work 1959
Inscription Dated '18.5.59' and signed 'Nanda' in Bengali along the right margin of the painting with brush in black colour. The painting also bears the artist's personal seal in red.
Dimensions 55.5 x 37.3 cms
Detailed Description After the mid-1950s and until his death in 1966, Nandalal's work became increasingly personal and introspective. During this time, Nandalal painted from his experiences and memory, barely leaving his studio in Santiniketan. Paintings of this phase became almost minimalistic and abstract yet never losing the inherent meditative or the spontaneous quality. This final phase in Nandalal's long and fruitful career is characterised by a consistent technique the artist employed using a Japanese brush and ink (sumi) and making only monochromatic ink drawings and watercolour paintings known as Sumi-e. The subjects were no longer mythological or iconic instead they all pertain to nature. Through twirls, swirls, dabs and dashes, he ventured to depict rhythm in the elements of nature and the relationship between nature and himself. These paintings are incredibly minimalistic depicting birds, plants, trees, hills, mountains, waves, animals, sun, moon, clouds, wind and flowers through vivid brush strokes, leaving large empty spaces.
Brief Description This painting belongs to a series of monochromatic ink and watercolour paintings inspired by the Sumi-e Japanese technique the artist employed in the last phase of his life. These compositions were stripped to the bare minimum where only a few strokes of ink were employed to create natural forms in an effortless approach. The above painting belongs to the ?Peacock' series. The artist has executed two peacocks standing on stones surrounded by cluster of trees, with a range of strokes in tonal variations capturing the rhythm and pattern of the image. This painting was purchased from the collection of Shri Biswaroop Bose and Smt. Nivedita Bose, children of Nandalal