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Paintings in India mainly followed the patterns that were based on religious and traditional motifs. Things related to nature were always a part of Indian paintings but, they were never the central subject matter of the artwork. Rather, they were supportive and decorative of the central theme. Painting landscapes of mountains, flora, fauna, clouds, water, etc. were introduced by the European travelers who happened to be artists. Through this post, we will try to understand how this style of painting identifies with the Indian diaspora and how it has been incorporated into landscape paintings by famous artists.

The genre was popular among the elites in Europe and India in the nineteenth century. However, it was a traditional form of art that saw a decline in demand and popularity in the wake of modernism that the art world in the 20th century. But, many Indian artists were so influenced by the growing emphasis of the style that they didn’t stop painting the landscapes. One of them was Gopal Ghose. He didn’t stop practicing landscape paintings and was incorporating new ideas and trends that followed in those times. He is that artist whose paintings come under the list of landscape paintings by famous artists.

Landscape paintings by famous artists - Gopal Ghose

A Landscape by Gopal Ghose

The European travelers that influenced Indian artist to make landscapes were:-

  1. Thomas Daniell
  2. William Hodges
  3. Edward Cheney
  4. Robert Grindlay

There were many modern Indian artists that filled the canvas with the aesthetic realism of Landscapes through their oil on canvas technique. They were:-

  1. J.P. Ganguly
  2. Ravi Varma

There are many artists that were academically trained to depict landscapes with perfection. The era from the 1920s to 1940s saw the emergence of artists of this ilk. They were:-

  1. L. Haldankar
  2. M. K. Parandekar
  3. L. N. Taskar
  4. D. C. Joglekar
  5. S. G. Thakur Singh

The Bengal school of art was also known for training such artists that were endowed with the gift of artistic divinity to carve the beauty and bounty of nature on an inanimate canvas to make it an epitome of undying grace. These artists have left a legacy of aestheticism of no match:-

  1. Abanindranath Tagore
  2. Nandalal Bose
  3. Prosanto Roy
  4. Benode Behari Mukherjee
  5. Indra Dugar

There is a name that needs to be mentioned especially- Haren Das. He was a printmaker. His prints were known for evoking a feeling of astute serenity and eclecticism. He captured the cityscapes and rustic landscape of Bengal in his prints that are unparalleled.

Indian artists belonging to the post-modernist era were filled with examples of artists who experimented with landscapes in their own styles and comfort such as:-

  1. F. N. Souza
  2. K. S. Kulkarni
  3. S. H. Raza
  4. S. K. Bakre
  5. Ganesh Haloi
  6. Akbar Padamsee
  7. Ram Kumar

However, M.F. Hussain is one of those painters who are not renowned for making famous landscape paintings. There are only two landscape paintings that he painted with a pinch of abstraction. These works are hard to find.

Bijay Biswal- The Karma Yogi of Landscape Paintings                                                                                                                                            

Have you ever travelled on a train and looked outside the window at the figures that seem to run behind? A ticket examiner on the train has the most adventurous life for that matter. He is the one who can set the highest record for travelling on the train.

It seems, Bijay Biswal, a ticket Examiner in the central railways, was far more interested in those daily life landscapes. While checking tickets, he has been observing the ‘insignificant’. Sherlock Holmes used to say that insignificant things are most important and require great attention. Bijay has proved this through his artwork.

His eclectic taste in choosing the subject matter of his paintings have garnered appreciation from all over. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed commendation for Bijay’s landscape in his Radio Programme also known as ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Fairly impressed by his dedication, he called him Karma Yogi or the one for whom is work is divine.

His paintings along with other works belonging to 17 artists are displayed in Delhi. There was an exhibition named ‘Lands Within’ which was a treat for art lovers, especially for old school people who have a sweet spot for landscapes. This art exhibit features works of people like Masood Hussaini and other landscape paintings by famous artists. He is famous for capturing the heavenly abode on earth –Kashmir.

Now, his paintings are on display in Delhi with 17 other artists.

landscape paintings by famous artists - Bijay Biswal

Landscapes of Odisha captured by Bijay Biswal

It has been over twenty years now as a ticket checker, but he realized his dreams as an artist. For him, railways hold a great deal. According to him,” My work shows another side of the railways that includes romanticism and beauty. I am doing paintings since childhood and always looked for a subject until I realized that railways are the one.”, as reported by Hindustan Times on September 14 2016.

Paresh Maity: A Tryst with watercolors

landscape paintings by famous artists - Paresh Maity

Work from Paresh Maity

He and watercolors have some connection. For forty years, he has been painting and his love for the style has not toned down. This medium is not very famous as it is hard to handle due to inconveniences. The paintings made in watercolors also don’t last long. Despite all these, he owes his loyalty to this traditional art form.

One of the art exhibitions organized at Lalit Kala Academy explores the artist’s love for landscapes in the delicate and soft strokes of the brush. The exhibition was christened as ‘World of Watercolors’. He is often spotted in his usual beret and scarf with a peculiar accent of a Bengali boy. The art exhibition too was no exception. When asked about his solemn marriage with one of the oldest forms of art, “I have been painting with watercolors - those tiny tubes you used to get - since the age of 10, when I was just getting into the field of art."

According to him, “Watercolor is the most difficult and oldest medium in the field of painting as there are many limitations. The size of the artwork is a big challenge, especially when done on a large scale. The application has to be timed and finished before the color dries."

As a resilient traveler, he has embellished the canvas with the vivacious colors of natural and manmade marvels against the backdrop of nature. He is one adventurous soul. He is often spotted drawing at bizarre locations like one he was paining in a houseboat floating in the Alappuzha waters. Sometimes, in front of a palace in Kochi, sitting cross-legged while creating an imprint of the grandiose building itself.

These magnificent markers of class and artistic creation are rare to find but they are a sight to behold. The scenic beauty of a landscape can’t be matched. So, you are lucky if you have one of the landscape paintings by famous artists in your possession!