Jamini Roy was a great Bengali painter. His paintings were so popular that he even received the Padma Bhushan award. Because of the aesthetic value and artistic skill ingrained in the paintings of Roy, he was recognised by the Government of India as one of the ‘Nine Masters’.
Born in West Bengal’s Beliatore village, on 11th of April, 1887, Roy enrolled himself in the Government School of Arts and Craft in Kolkata, where he received training in academic painting and portraiture. At the outset, the Paintings of Jamini Roy leaned more towards the British style. It is only in 1925 that he began a different style of painting. This style was pretty much similar with the style of the painters outside the Kalighat Temple of Kolkata.
Jamini Roy Paintings
The style of Jamini Roy Paintings got entirely transformed in the 1930s. This was an indigenous style that included woven mats, cloth and wood instead of canvas. Paintings of Jamini Roy have a touch of reality. And you will see a flat application of colours in them. Lines and borders are a common trait of almost all of his paintings.
When it comes to the subject, a lot can be seen in his paintings. stating from tribes to Jesus Christ, a varied range of subjects can be witnessed in his creations. He preferred the indigenous style over modern art, and many people followed his suit.
Jamini Roy paintings are extremely popular. We even saw a Google doodle created on the theme of Jamini Roy’s famous painting Black Horse.
Some of his most revered works include Ramayana. This is a grand painting that sprawls over 17 canvases. Roy made use of natural colours like vegetable pigments and earth instead of dyes to paint this painting. Events from Ramayana such as Seeta’s agnipariksha to sage Valmiki, everything was depicted in this painting. The motifs he used in this painting included animals, leaves, fruits and flowers, pretty much like the motifs used by the painters of the Bengal School of Art. A couple of paintings from this series can be found in the National Art Gallery of India. Some of the paintings are also put on display at the Victoria Memorial Hall. For the complete collection, you will have to visit Sarada Charan Das’ house, which may be considered the largest repository of Jamini Roy Paintings.
Another painting called Bride and Two Companions, figures high in Roy’s most loved paintings. It’s a popular tempera painting on card that features a bride in a beautiful blue saree. The bride in the painting is accompanied by two of her female companions who, don’t just wear similar clothes but also wear the same expression. While the bride uses one of her hands to hold a pot; with the other she keeps her veil in place.
Another painting, Mother and the Child soared to popularity for its simplicity. This painting depicts a style non-characteristic of his usual style. The deviation can be seen in the use of colours. The painting also doesn’t have borders or any emphasis on lines. While Roy mostly used dull colours in his paintings, you will notice the use of bright colours in this work. In it, you see a mother holding her son lovingly.
Roy also loved animals in his paintings, and one of his most popular works, Dual Cats with One Crayfish, features two cats. Holding a crayfish in their mouths, these cats can be seen in a seated position in the painting. Colours like black, red and turquoise blue make the painting look extremely beautiful. The emphasis lies in the whiskers and eyes of the cats.
So, Roy was a revolutionary painter. And his unique art is still a subject of appreciation and study for people!