Famous Painters of India: Life, Work, Style

3 minute read

India is a vibrant country with a rich and diverse artistic heritage. Traveling in the universe of art from the ancient cave paintings of Ajanta and Ellora to the modern masterpieces of M. F. Hussain, the journey is endless. The famous painters of India have always found ways to express the beauty and complexity of their culture through their work.

In this blog, we will take a walk through the art of some of India’s most famous painters. We will explore their stories and the inspiration behind their work.

Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906)

He is considered one of the most famous painters of India and was known as the First Indian Modern Artist. Raja Ravi Verma was influenced by the European style of arts with an Indian fusion of elements. Paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as his portraits of Indian women, are some gems in his basket of art.

Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941)

Amrita was a self-taught painter and has been known as “one of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th century” and a pioneer in modern Indian art. 

Her paintings depicted scenes from her own life, as well as the lives of women and children. Her work helped to break down traditional gender roles. 

Also Read – History of Indian Art

Abnindranath Tagore (1871-1951)

Abnindranath Tagore was the principal artist and creator of the “Indian Society of Oriental Art”. He was a painter, whose work was mostly inspired by the political conditions of his time. His paintings depicted scenarios like the Swadeshi movement, etc.

Nandalal Bose (1882-1966)

Nandlal Bose is also considered one of the pioneers of modern Indian art. He was inspired by both Indian and European art, and his work showcased two styles with elements and features of artistry.

Nandalal Bose sketched the emblem of government awards including the Bharat Ratna and he also decorated the original manuscript of the Indian Constitution. 

Jamini Roy (1887-1972)

Jaimini Roy was a major figure in the Bengal School of Art as he himself was a student of the school. His inspiration came from Indian culture and tribal art. His work was a reaction against the Western-influenced art of the time. His contribution is highly regarded in the revival of interest in traditional Indian art.

Also Read – Traditional Art Form of India

Syed Haider Raza (1922-2016)

Syed Haider Raza moved to India in 1970. He explored different cultures and his work included various fields, such as cosmology, Indian philosophy, and scriptures. He is renowned for his abstract art and geometric canvases. He was also the co-founder of the Bombay Progressive Artists Group.

Tyeb Mehta ( 1925-2009)

Tyeb Mehta was a famous painters of India first and then filmmaker, and sculptor. He was also part of the Progressive Artists Group. His paintings were influenced by Indian themes and touched on aspects like social, political, and everyday happenings to mythology and spirituality.

Francis Newton Souza ( 1924–2002)

Francis Newton Souza was the founder of the Progressive Artists Group. He believed that art works as “propaganda” He depicted human figures that were different. His paintings also touched upon the freedom struggle and gave voices to the downtrodden.

Vasudeo Gaitonde (1924-2001)

VS Gaitonde is known as one of the best abstract and famous painters of India. He also joined the Progressive Artists Group. Presently, his artwork is ranked as one of the most expensive works. His style was meditative and Spiritual in nature.

M. F Husain ( 1915- 2011)

After joining the Progressive Artists Group, Maqbool Fida Husain’s artistic career took off as he met many talented artists. He created vivid and daring paintings including the epics, the British rule, Mahatma Gandhi, and both rural and urban life. Husain is a renowned figure in the art world and a famous painter of India who has been dubbed as the ‘Picasso of India’.

Also Read- How to become a professional Muralist?

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