Hemendranath Majumdar (1894 – 1948)

Born in what is now Bangladesh, Hemendranath Mazumdar was a painter ofexceptional talent. Although he was praised for his fine treatment of pastels,watercolors and chalks, his real skill lay in the way he handled the oil medium.Women of his native Bengal, most bathing or draped in wet saris are consideredMazumdar’s classical trademark. A renowned and thriving painter of the Europeanacademic style in the Kolkata of 1920s, Hemendranath was a close associate ofAbanindranath Tagore but was never won over by the ideals of the Neo-BengalSchool that the Tagores founded.In 1929, Mazumdar founded the `Indian Academy of Art’ at his own residence inKolkata. Renowned artists like Bhabani Charan Laha, Jogesh Chandra Seal, JaminiRoy and Atul Bose were actively involved in the Academy’s activities. The academy’sfirst tri-monthly journal was published in 1920, introducing upcoming artists andprinting reproductions of their work in full colour. The journal also publishedserious essays on contemporary art by various artists. Hemendranath Mazumdaralso published picture-album called ‘Indian Masters,’ in which the paintings ofalmost all the important artists selected from all over the subcontinent werereproduced.In 1931, he was invited by the Maharaja of Kashmir to work in the palace, and laterHemendranath Mazumdar was officially appointed ‘Court Painter’ of the Maharajaof Patiala. During this period in his career he executed many oil paintings that stillhang in the courts of many Rajasthani princely states like Jodhpur ad Bikaner. AfterIndependence, in 1947, Hemendranath was invited to paint a mural to decoratethe All India exhibition, in which he excelled all his previous work.

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