The art of painting in India dates back to the ancient times, as is evident from the cave paintings of Ajanta and Ellora. From the paintings revolving around religious topics to the abstract ones, Indian painters have covered almost each and every arena. In the following lines, we have provided information about the famous painters of India:
Raja Ravi Varma
- Raja Ravi Verma of Kerala was perhaps the first great modern painter in India.
- He evolved a national style of painting by combining various regional elements like costumes, jewellery and facial features. His paintings, which mostly depicted mythological themes, became very popular not only in India but abroad.
- His illustrations of Ramayana and Mahabharata were the most appealing visual representations of that time. He won a gold medal at the World Art Exhibition, Vienna , for his picture Nair Lady Adorning Her Hair.
- ‘Lady in The Moonlight’ is one of his very famous paintings.
- Amrita Sher-Gil was an eminent Indian painter born to a Punjabi Sikh father and a Hungarian Jewish mother, sometimes known as India’s Frida Kahlo, and today considered an important woman painter of 20th century India.
- She was influenced by the Mughal and Pahari School of paintings. Her paintings have a beautiful blend of the Western and Indian styles of painting.
M. F. Hussain
- He is considered as India’s leading artist. He paints in black social environment, often using distorted human figures, horses and objects. At times he uses highly violent distortions in form and colour to display emotions.
- Using freehand drawing and vibrant colour, he depicted Indian subject matter in the style of contemporary European art movements, particularly Cubism.
- His famous work include Ramayana, Mahabharata, Mother Teresa and images of the British Raj.
- His works show the influence of Picasso, Gris and Leger.
Abinandranath Tagore (1871-1951)
- He had a flair for calligraphy. His paintings and drawings are generally of small sizes. He used dominant black ink lines.
- Tagore’s best known painting, Bharat Mata, depicted a young woman, portrayed with four arms in the manner of Hindu, deities, holding objects symbolic of India’s national aspirations.
Tyeb Mehta (1925-2009)
- He was a famous Indian painter. His noted works were the ‘Diagonal Series’ Santiniketan, Kali, Mahishasura etc. He was part of the noted Bombay progressive Artists Group.
- He is a painter, sculptor, muralist and architect in one. He works with several mediums like paint, clay, ceramic, wood, glass and metal. His dynamic social-realistic paints can be seen in the paintings of partition (revolution) which shows influence of Mexican grotesque distortion.
- He is one of the few, contemporary artist who is influenced by socio-olitical events. He is a powerful expressionist. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1999.