Prinseps


Chittoprasad : Linocut Prints

Born in 1915 in Bengal, Chittoprasad was a self taught artist and illustrator. He was educated in Chittagong, Bengal. He had no formal training as he refused to join the Government College of Art, Calcutta. He was also a member of the Communist party in India at the time and rejected the caste system. Chittaprosad rejected the the Bengal School as he considered it elitist. Chittoprasad joined grassroots movements to resist colonization as well as the oppression of landed gentry. 

Chittprasad Threshing in a worli village

Chittoprasad 

UNTITLED (Threshing)

1951

Linocut

Well known for his print works, he prefered to use linocuts and woodcuts. The prints were meant to be easily and cheaply created for the masses so it could widely disseminated amongst the local populace. As a result, they were seldom signed or numbered. 

Untitled Chittoprasad

Chittoprasad

Untitled

Linocut on paper

His preferred material to produce blocks for his prints was linoleum. Linoleum is soft and homogenous which makes it easy to cut away portions. The recessed, cutaway areas produced the white space and the rest of the print was covered in black ink. The black ink helped to communicate figures and white areas conveyed light and shadow. All his works had defined foreground, middle ground and background. 

Untitled Chittoprasad Linocut

Chittoprasad

Untitled 

Linocut on paper

The prints often had leftist propaganda as subject matter. Peasants, labourers and common folk were recorded to convey the political and social protests in the country. Chittoprasad witnessed the Bengal Famine in 1943 - 1944 and he saw the atrocities of a man made famine first hand. His works are a protest against colonialism, urban poverty and economic exploitation. Another recurring theme was the farmers revolution and the oppression of the masses.