Roy had scanty respect for the Indian miniatures and the frescoes of Ajanta and Konark temple. He also did not show much enthusiasm about Tagore’s art of painting. In one of the essays it is discussed how Buddhadeb Basu, Sudhindranath Datta and Bishnu Dey introduced him to the international art scene. Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay and Sankha Ghosh also wrote essays in this volume. The great attraction of this book is the accommodation of pictures of Roy some of which are rare pieces of art.
There were not a plethora of books before this anthology dealing with the aspects of his art of Roy's painting. In 1988, the book 'Ruptapas Jamini Roy', written by Prasanta and published by Prativash consists of a collection of essays on Roy’s life and art by poets, journalists, art critics and historians of today and the previous days. The minute analysis shows the history of the artist’s long and amazing evolution of artistic thoughts. There are six pictures and twenty six paintings by the artist himself and the others.
The other book Jamini Roy published by R. Chatterjee, Secretary, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, in 1973 dealt with the works of modern Indian artists’ endeavour to bring to the public the lost art of our own time. There are several pictures drawn by the artist himself. Besides, there are short life stories of the artist, his style, and his thoughts around art.
Bishnu De’s book Jamini Roy published by Asha Prakashani in 1977 unveiled the historical evolution of the art and the artistic thoughts of the great artist of modern time, Jamini Roy. We can get a clear idea about the artist’s philosophy of life, his personality, his style of vernacular speaking from the various letters to the author. Roy widely regarded as one of the most important Indian artists of our times drew inspiration not from any Western model but from the folk traditons of Bengal, from the Kalighat pat in particular.
Born in Bankura on the first day of Baishakh, 1280 (April 11, 1887), he had in his mind the native values of his own village Beletor, which he regarded as the epitome of Indianism. He was not much interested in studying the venerated Indian miniatures, and even the frescoes of Ajanta and the Konark Temple. He even had the idea that Tagore painted in a pure Western manner and felt that Tagore appplied pigments and through his sheer powers of imagination used the lines. But the slim anthology published by Sutantuti Boimela Committee of Rajballavpara is a very much informative book .
Roy was a path breaking artist and this aspect was earlier highlighted in the book Jamini Roy, Bengali Artist of Modern India published in 1997 by Samuel P. Harn. But in the present anthology the focus is on the deceptive simplicity of Roy's art. The greatness of his innovative art cannot be ignored. On the 50th death anniversary of the artist, there is no stir in the cultural ambience of Kolkata. The small book may not be an elaborate and profound exploration of his painting, but it is undoubtedly a great tribute to the great painter and makes us a little nostalgic as well as curious about the art of this great painter when the western values and culture are gradually affecting each and every space of our mindset.
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