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Jamini Roy



Born in 1887 in a village of the Bankura district in West Bengal, an area especially rich with a folk art tradition. In 1903 with the consent of his father, he arrived in calcutta and enrolled there in the Govt. School of Art. Despite his ready success, he had, by 1925, begun experimenting along the lines of popular bazaar paintings sold outside the Kalighat temple, Calcutta. By the early 1930s he had made a complete switch to indigenous materials, following the Kalighat idiom back to its source in the scroll paintings of the Bengal countryside. Roy’s pictures become very popular during the 1940s and clientele included both the Bengali middle class and European community. In 1946, his work was exhibited in London; in 1953 in New York. He was honored with the State award of Padma Bhushan in 1955. He died in 1972 in Calcutta.   His new style was a reaction against the Bengal School and Western tradition. His underlying quest was threefold: to capture the essence of simplicity embodied in the life of the folk people; to make art accessible to a wider section of people; and to give Indian art its own identity. Jamini Roy's paintings were put on exhibition for the first time in the British India Street of Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1938. During the 1940s, his popularity touched new highs, with the Bengali middle class and the European community becoming his main clientele. In 1946, his work was exhibited in London and in 1953, in the New York City. He was awarded the Padma Bhusan in 1954. His work has been exhibited extensively in international exhibitions and can be found in many private and public collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He spent most of his life living and working in Calcutta. Initially he experimented with Kalighat paintings but found that it has ceased to be strictly a "patua" and went to learn from village patuas. Consequently his techniques as well as subject matter was influenced by traditional art of Bengal. He preferred himself to be called a patua. Jamini Roy died in 1972. He was survived by four sons and a daughter. Currently his successors (daughters-in-law and grand children and their children) stay at the home he had built in Ballygunge Place, Kolkata. His works can be found in various galleries across the globe as well as in his home. It is evident that his followers and successors copied many of his works with a minor variations intentional or unintentional. So, the basic problem lies with the indetification of the originality of his works.

Jamini Roy

    • Lives and Works :
    • kolkatta - Passed away in the year 1972
    • Education :
    • Government College of Art, Kolkata


Artist Statement

His new style was a reaction against the Bengal School and Western tradition. His underlying quest was threefold: to capture the essence of simplicity embodied in the life of the folk people; to make art accessible to a wider section of people; and to give Indian art its own identity. Jamini Roy's paintings were put on exhibition for the first time in the British India Street of Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1938. During the 1940s, his popularity touched new highs, with the Bengali middle class and the
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Artist Biography

Born in 1887 in a village of the Bankura district in West Bengal, an area especially rich with a folk art tradition. In 1903 with the consent of his father, he arrived in calcutta and enrolled there in the Govt. School of Art. Despite his ready success, he had, by 1925, begun experimenting along the lines of popular bazaar paintings sold outside the Kalighat temple, Calcutta. By the early 1930s he had made a complete switch to indigenous materials, following the Kalighat idiom back to its source
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  • Procession

  • Santhal Drummer

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