Capturing Serenity in Monochrome: Atul Bose's Masterpiece, 'Grandma'

Atul Bose, a celebrated Indian artist renowned for his exceptional portraiture, received his training at Calcutta’s State College of Arts and Crafts and later became its Director. He secured a scholarship to study art at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, where he drew inspiration from English post-Impressionist Walter Sickert, evident in his later works characterised by subtle grey and brown tones.

Atul Bose, Grandma, c. 1935, Oil on canvas 

Bose’s preferred medium was oil. In this painting titled Grandma, featured in our Modern Art Auction, he skillfully captures the serenity of a grandmother dressed in white, holding prayer beads, and radiating spiritual tranquility. Through the deft use of brown and white, he creates a sense of calm and reverence that is truly captivating. 

What sets this artwork apart is its monochromatic composition. The entire painting is executed in just two colors: brown and white. However, it's important to note that "Grandma" is not a portrait of the artist's own grandmother; it's a representation of how he envisioned a grandmother. This work stands as a testament to Bose’s empathy and skill, cherished as one of his finest pieces by the Bose family. In an interview with Prinseps, the artist's son describes this work as remarkable. (Watch the video here.)

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