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Radha Charan Bagchi

Radha Charan was born at Pabna in Bangladesh in 1910. He graduated in 1939 with distinction, Govt. School of Art and Craft, Calcutta, coming in direct contact with Abanindranath Tagore, Mukul Dey and others. He taught art in schools before joining Kala Bhavan at Rabindranath Tagore's invitation. In 1951 he joined Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan. In 1963-73, he was officiated twice as the Principal of Kala-Bhavan, Santiniketan.

This versatile artist's aesthetic trajectory traces a rapid movement from one medium to medium, from one school to another. He has worked in oil, tempura and watercolour; but dry point graphics, etchings and lithographs can also be found in his portfolio. He is equally at ease in the neo-Bengal school style; as in conventional European traditions. Most interesting are those works where the artist is seen to be struggling to find a Western technique framework that could accommodate Indian themes.

A pioneer of modern Bengal Art, Bagchi’s annals remains hidden in some obscure corner of art books. But his contribution to Bengal Art, as we have inherited in its present form, is immense. In fact, the history of Bengal Art would be incomplete if we exclude Bagchi’s name. He would move from neo-Bengal school themes and variations through academic neo-classicism to post-Impressionist style of landscape rendering. His great virtuosity still mesmerises viewers. Bagchi was a master painter working in oil, tempera, opaque and transparent watercolour as well as wash painting style. Bagchi’s oil portraits, done frontally or in profile, speak of the various Western schoolings that he was attracted to. An exhibition of this forgotten pioneer revives memories of a bygone era.

Radha Charan Bhagchi died in 1977.

Artwork for Sale

by Radha Charan Bagchi


6 X 9 inches