Somnath Hore was not one to paint the blue of the skies, the glitter of the sands, or the green of the whispering trees, but the helplessness of the trembling hand attached to an emaciated body collapsed on the floor. In Somnath’s vision, it is the spectacle of man’s suffering that steals the show.
The country just lost an eminent poet and a Rabindranath Tagore specialist. I had first heard of Sankha Ghosh from Raman Sivakumar at Santiniketan, who had suggested I take his help in annotating Rabindranath Tagore’s speeches from the Rathindranath Tagore estate. Annotating Rabindranath is not an easy task, there are many nuances. These speeches were written in interesting times – independence movement, internal politics in Santiniketan, impending wars, and leading up to the famous crisis of civilizations speech just before he passed away.
...have hurt my ears severely. In entire India, it is only in Bengal, that Sanskrit pronunciation is such non-Aryan. Mutilation of Sanskrit in such a manner, I have not seen in any other state. Especially convolution of utter-able mantras is to be considered a blunder. Since it has hurt me, I had to say this.
After many days, today I am present in front of you in this shrine (mandir). I have come with a lot of hesitation. I am aware that due to prolonged absence our entire organization has become weak. For whatever reason it may be, your minds are no longer ready to accept all the functions, activities, and rites of the Ashrama. There is no point denying this. For this, not only are you to be held responsible but we are equally responsible.
An intensely private artist whose artistic imagination was fuelled by the strange, dark fantasy of his grandmother’s stories and charred by the horrors of his reality, Ganesh Pyne's paintings are quiet revelations of his personality. Pyne's intricate ink works, haunting temperas, and jottings are rich in imagery and symbolism, bordering along the uncanny and drawing our attention to a world beyond the familiar. His art deeply rooted in dark, unsettling images, derived from mythology and dreams.
A silent, dedicated artist content amidst the walls of paintings stacked in his Begampur mud house stirred a quiet revolution against the preconceived notions of artistic expression. No wonder Gobardhan Ash (b.1907) carved a niche for himself as an individualistic artist who fearlessly explored diverse artistic styles and techniques.
The art of portraiture seems much more enticing today when we live in a world where ‘portraits’ can be created at the click of a button with a single handheld device. There is something enigmatic about how artists in the past captured personalities with strokes of the brush and immortalized them in portraits. There is something romantic about the notion of portraits themselves, and how a sensitive artist could capture the physical characteristics as well as the psychological aspect of the subject of the portrait.
Rathindranath was not only one of the first five boys of the Santiniketan Brahmacharyasrama, but he was also one of the reasons for its existence. Rathindranath was the most representative product of Rabindranath’s educational ideal.
My earliest memories are swathed in the scent of mountain pines and a constant leitmotif of a rattling train that would carry me back to our home in Dehradun named Mitali on Rajpur Road – my magical El Dorado – where I spent my childhood with my mother, Meera ma, my maternal grandmother, Lal dida, and my Jethu and foster father, Rathindranath (Tagore).