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Date of Birth 03-12-1882
Nationality Indian
Sunsign Sagittarius
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Nandalal Bose (3 December 1882 – 16 April 1966) was a notable Indian painter of Bengal school of art. A pupil of Abanindranath Tagore, Bose was known for "Indian style" of painting. He became the principal of Kala Bhawan, Shanti Niketan in 1922. He was influenced by the Tagore family and the murals of Ajanta, his classic works include paintings of scenes from Indian mythologies, women, and village life. Today, his paintings are considered among Indias best modern paintings by many critics. In 1976, the Archaeological Survey of India, Department of Culture, Govt. of India declared his works among the "nine artists", whose work "not being antiquities, were to be hence forth considered to be art treasures .

Early life

Nandalal was born on the 3rd of December, 1882 in a middle-class Bengali family of Kharagpur, a small town in the Monghyr district of Bihar state. His father, Purnachandra Bose, was at that time working in the Darbhanga Estate. His mother Kshetramonidevi was a housewife with a skill in improvising toys and dolls for young Nandalal. From his early days Nandalal began taking an interest in modelling images and later, decorating Puja pandals.Nandalal moved to Calcutta in the year 1897, for his high school studies in the Central Collegiate School. After clearing his examinations in 1902, he continued his college studies in the same institution. He was married to Sudhiradevi, the daughter of a family friend in June 1903. Nanadalal wanted to study Art, but he was not given permission by his family. Unable to qualify for promotion in his classes, Nandalal moved to other colleges, joining the Presidency College in 1905 to study commerce. After repeated failures, he persuaded his family to let him study art at Calcutta s School of Art.


Nandalal Bose as a young artist was deeply influenced by the murals of Ajanta, already part of a circle of artists and writers who sought to revive classical Indian culture.To mark the 1930 occasion of Gandhi s arrest for protesting the British tax on salt, Bose created a black on white linocut print of Gandhi walking with a staff. It became the iconic image for the non-violent movement.His genius and original style were recognized by famous artists and art critics like Gaganendranath Tagore, Ananda Coomaraswamy and O.C.Ganguli. These lovers of art felt that objective criticism was necessary for the development of painting and founded the Indian Society of Oriental Art.He became principal of the Kala Bhavana (College of Arts) at Tagore s International University Santiniketan in 1922.He was also famously asked by Jawaharlal Nehru to sketch the emblems for the Government of India’s awards, including the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Shri. Along with his students, Nandalal Bose took-up the historic task of beautifying/decorating the original manuscript of the Constitution of India.

He died on April the 16th, 1966, in Calcutta.

Today, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, hold 7000 of his works in its collection, including a 1930 black and white linocut of the Dandi March, depicting Mahatma Gandhi and a set of seven posters he later made at the request of Mahatma Gandhi for the 1938 Haripura Session of the Indian National CongressSome of his illustrious students were Benode Behari Mukherjee, Ramkinkar Baij, Beohar Rammanohar Sinha, Pratima Thakur, Sovon Som, Jahar Dasgupta, Sabita Thakur. and Kondapalli SeshagiriRao

Honours and awards

Nandalal Bose was awarded a prize of Rs. 500 at the first art exhibition organized by it in 1908 CE for his painting Shiva-Sati. In 1956 CE, he became the second artist to be elected Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi, India s National Academy of Art.

In 1954 , Nandalal Bose was conferred the Padma Vibhushan .

Several universities conferred honorary Doctorates on him. Vishvabharati University honored him by conferring on him the title of Deshikottama . The Academy of Fine Arts in Calcutta honored Nandalal with the Silver Jubilee Medal. The Tagore Birth Centenary Medal was awarded to Nandalal Bose in 1965 CE by the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

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