(Sale 0007)Lot 28Lot Closed Artist: HEMENDRANATH MAJUMDAR
Oil on Canvas,
RADHA LEARNING TO PLAY THE FLUTE FROM KRISHNADimension: 94 x 79 cms
Oil on Canvas,
Signed lower left H. Mazumdar
Born in 1894, in erstwhile Bangladesh, Hemendranath Mazumdar was a painter of exceptional talent. Praised for his fine treatment of pastels,watercolors and chalks, his real forte’ was in his handling of the medium of Oil painting. The subjects of his paintings are predominantly women of native Bengal mostly seen bathing or draped in wet saris which became his trademark. A renowned and thriving painter of the European academic style in the Kolkata of 1920s, Hemendranath was a close associate of Abanindranath Tagore but was never won over by the ideals his Neo-Bengal School. His ideals were the European masters whose techniques of oil painting and confident brushwork he admired and emulated diligently. His immediate inspiration also came from the works of the grand masters of the British Company school like Tilly Kettle, Balcazar Solvyns,Samuel Davis, William Hodges and Johann Zoffany. In the painting 'Radha learning to play the flute from Krishna', possibly an early work by the artist, we see him employing the effects of chiaro scuro and reflected light. The treatment of the moonlit sky and its reflection on the pond and on the faces of Radha and Krishna endears the viewer with its tender beauty. The forlorn expression on Radha’s face as she feels dejected by her inability to play the flute as expertly as Krishna further intensifies their passionate abhisar (amourous engagement) as Krishna bend down on her and gestures with his hands to teach her. Hemendranath attempts to render successfully the fluted diaphanous quality of the Radha’s saree that outline the frame of her body. The undiminished brilliance of colour testifies his command of the medium. One of the few Indian artists of the early twentieth century who enjoyed both monetary success and critical appreciation, Mazumdar, in 1921 won many accolades like the gold medal at an exhibition in Mumbai for his painting `Reminiscence' as well as the first prize by the Society of Fine Arts in the same year at Kolkata. In 1929, Mazumdar , along with some of his illustrious peers like Bhabani Charan Law, Jogesh Chandra Seal, Jamini Roy and Atul Bose founded the `Indian Academy of Art' at his own residence in Kolkata. The academy's first tri-monthly journal was published in 1920, introducing upcoming artists and printing reproductions of their work in full colour. The journal also published serious essays on contemporary art by various artists.
From the collection of a lady based in Delhi
Compare: Lot No 5, Osians Jan 2009 sale