Nandlal Bose


Born in 1882, Nandlal Boseis a Bihar based Indian artist. As a disciple of Havell and Abanindranath, he is at present considered as one of the most distinguished artists of the modern India.

Nandlal Bose was greatly supported by Sister Nivedita. He was regarded as one of the foremost lights of the renaissance of art in India.  When Rabindranath Tagore founded the Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan, he requested NandLal to join hands. Nandlal Bose worked as the Principal at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan between 1922 and 1951. He also presented with an offer by Government Art School to join them as one of the staff member. However, he declined the offer and preferred to help Abanindranath in concocting a catalogue of the artwork represented in his house. Nandlal Bose took his last breathe on 16th April 1966.

Education & Work

Nandlal Bose got himself enrolled in Calcutta Government College of Art between 1905 and 1910. Later, he joined Abanindranath's Art School, where he was steered, in the beginning, by Harinarayan Basu and Iswari Prasad and afterward, by Abanindranath himself. He remained under the guidance of Abanindranath for the next five years.

The style of Nandlal’s paintings beautiful divulges the momentous imaginative tradition as well as the contemporary practices of Indian art form.

As a budding artist, Nandalal Bose was immensely inspired by the murals of the Ajanta Caves. He had proactively became part of an worldwide circle of artists and writers in quest of resuscitating the conventional Indian ethos; a group that already included Okakura Kakuzo, William Rothenstein, Yokoyama Taikan, Christiana Herringham, Laurence Binyon, Abanindranath Tagore, and the influential London Modernist sculptors Eric Gill and Jacob Epstein.

He was also legendarily asked by Jawaharlal Nehru to sketch the emblems for the Government of India’s awards, such as the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Shri.

Together with his pupils, Nandalal Bose ultimately took this remarkable task of remodeling and embellishing the original manuscript of the Constitution of India.

His works of have been exhibited at several national as well as international exhibitions. Some of art exhibition where his art paintings were showcased include Crystal Palace of England, societe des peintres orientalistes francais at Grand Palais in Paris, The Netherlands & Imperial Institute of England, Indian School of Oriental Art, American Federation of Art, Athenee Gallery of Geneva, Centenary Retrospective Exhibition, National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, etc.

Additionally, the Lucknow and Haripura Session of the Indian National Congress put his work on a display.

Awards and Accolades

In 1956, he was nominated as the Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi, India's National Academy of Art. In 1954, Nandalal Bose was bestowed with highly prestigious award, the Padma Vibhushan. In 1957, the Calcutta University bestowed him with honorary D.Litt. Later, Vishvabharati University reverenced him by bestowing him with the title of 'Deshikottama'.

The Academy of Fine Arts in Calcutta revered Nandalal with the Silver Jubilee Medal. The Tagore Birth Centenary Medal was conferred to Nandalal Bose in 1965 by the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

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