Before talking about the 5 most famous painters of India, let’s take a brief look at the history of art and culture in India.
India is a nation, rich and complex in its history which spans around for thousands of years. It is truly a magical place and is also a centre of influence for art in Asia. Listing below are the 5 most famous painters of India which made history of art in India even more precious.
The 5 most famous painters of India
Raja Ravi Varma (1848 – 1906)
When we talk about famous painters of India, Raja Ravi Varma leads the list. He is also termed as the “Father of Indian Modern Art” and is the very first artist from this great nation who earned notable stature and appreciation at global level.
Raja Ravi Varma, in most of his creations, focused on the beauty of South Indian Women. A good part of his paintings’ theme revolved around the same. However, it was his artwork on religious topics that gained him accolades at the global level. Raja Ravi Varma won his first prize at the Madras painting exhibition and in the year 1893, his work was sold at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. For his contribution to art, then Viceroy Lord Curzon bestowed him with the Kaisar-i-Hind Gold Medal.
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Maqbool Fida Husain (1915 – 2011)
MF Husain, short for Maqbool Fida Hussain was the world’s best-known painter from India. He was also referred to as the “Picasso of India”. He not only created his own art but also became a founding member of the Progressive Artist’s Group in Bombay, which encouraged more artists to step up in society.
He was a self-taught painter who painted billboards at the beginning of his journey for a living. From there on he became the most internationally recognized Indian painter of the 20th century. Hussain is known for his vibrantly colored and bold paintings in his cubist style. His capture of the spirit of horses in his artworks remains a symbol of his accomplishments. His works including Horses, Mother Teresa, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and others recommended him for the 1991 Padma Vibhushan award.
Amrita Sher-Gil (1913 – 1941)
Adding to the list of the most famous painters of India, here is one of the pioneers of modern art who, in her short career and life, influenced millions of art lovers across the world. Her name is Amrita Sher-Gil. She is the flamboyant, the lit, the courageous, the thinker, the epitome of pure talent, and the one who became the first woman artist (and only Asian artist to date) in the entire world to win a gold medal in Paris.
It was in the year 1932 when she brushed down one of her finest creations named ‘Young Girls’. This led her to the nominations for the Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris in 1933. She still holds the record for the youngest artist and is the only Asian to win this honour. It was a mystical intuition of Amrita that her destiny was waiting for her in India and nowhere else.
The famous painters of India and their inspirational art work
Syed Haider Raza (1922 – 2016)
Sayed Haider Raza started learning the basics of painting in his childhood. As the perfect place to professionally grow as a painter, he moved to France in 1950, where the influences of Western Art started forming a popular style of painting as Raza’s style. Colorful, bright, and geometric, Raza successfully combined Hindu themes after spending more time in studying the Indian culture carefully.
His works like Saurashtra, Composition Geometrique, and Ankuran are irreplaceable to the Indian painting history and also the world’s. His work ‘Saurashtra’ was sold for $3.48 million on Christie’s auction in 2010, making it one of the most expensive Indian paintings of all time. He was also awarded the Legion of Honor in France 2015 and the Padma Vibhushan in India 2013.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941)
Rabindranath Tagore was a famous Indian artist, painter, and poet. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature, considering his writing at the time was no surprise. Tagore started to indulge himself in paintings when he was sixty years old, giving his legacy another dimension. Famous for his mysterious human faces, flowers, bizarre beasts, and masks, his paintings show a fantasizing side of him.
Not many people know that his strange color schemes were a combination of his unusual red-green color blindness. His bold forms, with a distinctive sense of fantasy, allowed him to be the first Indian painter to exhibit his works in the United States and Europe. His works including the Head Study, Dancing Woman, Self Portrait, and over a hundred more will live to speak his story once again.
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