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Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy, the legendary artist of Bengal, is among the most influential Indian artists of the 20th century. Born in 1887 in a small village in Bankura district, West Bengal, Jamini Roy joined the Government School of Art, Kolkata in 1903. It was there that he was introduced to western academic aesthetics and methodology. He began his career by painting in the Post-Impressionist genre of landscapes and portraits.

During 1925 - 1930, Roy experimented along the lines of popular pata-chitras of Kalighat temple in Kolkata and then made a complete switch to indigenous materials to paint on woven mats, cloth and wood coated with lime.

The Santhals, a tribal people who live in the rural districts of Bengal, were an important subject for Roy. Roy approached folk art not as an outsider, but as one who had an intimate knowledge of the living experience of the people. A series of works done a decade before World War II is a very good example of how he captured the qualities that are a part of native folk painting and recombined them with those of his own. He fused the minimal brush strokes of the Kalighat style with elements of tribal art from.

Roy's rejection of the then modern style of painting and his foray into the realm of Bengali folk paintings marked a new beginning in the history of Indian modern art. The mother and child, Radha, and animals were painted in simple two-dimensional forms, with flat color application and an emphasis on the lines. The main subjects were often enclosed within decorative borders with motifs in the background. The figure of the Christ was also a subject that Roy often painted. 

Roy transformed the folk-inspired style into a personal idiom, through an intellectual simplification, very urban in character, revealing a sophisticated awareness of the laws of composition. His creativity had a sense of social-consciousness and through the trajectories of Bengal folk aesthetics, he created note-worthy paintings which represented the Indian identity.

Roy held several one-man exhibitions and numerous group shows. His works can be found in several private and public collections, institutions and museums all over the world, including the Lalit Kala Academy in Delhi and museums in Germany and the United States of America.

He was honored with the Padma Bhushan in 1955. Jamini Roy died in 1972 in Kolkata, where he had lived all his life.

Artwork for Sale

Garuda on Horseback
by Jamini Roy


30 X 37 inches

by Jamini Roy


39 X 22 inches