Born in 1936 in West Bengal, Ramananda Bandyopadhyay’s art can be described as lyrical and romantic. Ramananda Bandyopadhyay is a worthy representative of the Bengal School of Art. He is inspired by the simplicity and uncomplicated lives of the rustics. An admirer of Nandalal Bose he draws unabashedly from the master's work and has modelled his art on the same lines. Lyrical and romantic, Bandyopadhyay's canvases have a radiant innocence that is strongly reminiscent of an earlier era when life had a dignity and graciousness. A very distinct characteristic of Bandyopadhyay's work is the recurrent use of a palette that comprises principally of reds, browns, greens and white. In a career spanning almost four decades, he has consistently employed the same colors. " I owe the three to four colors used in my paintings, exclusively to my mother's addiction to pan (betel leaf). The green of the betel leaf, the lime's white, the catechu's brown and the red of the juice of chewed pan that turned my mother's lips into a pair of pure gems,"says Bandyopadhyay as he explains his predilection for these hues.
Mythology is a favourite subject of this artist. Drawing on the ancient and rich cultural heritage of his native state as well as the country, Bandyopadhyay paints the numerous gods and goddesses that people Hinduism and the fascinating tales that abound in the literature of India. This strong bias towards religious subjects is in part attributable to his upbringing. His parents were ardent followers of the religious tenets of the Ramakrishna Mission and the artist himself spent most of his working life as a Director of the Art Museum and Gallery at the Ramakrishna Mission in Kolkata.
Not that Bandyopadhyay lives completely in the past and is unobservant of modern day life. In fact, all his canvases are firmly rooted in contemporary style and technique. Many of his paintings depict the humdrum existence of the middle-class in any large city going about their day-to-day activities. He transforms even these mundane subjects into paintings invested with a rare grace and beauty. A blend of tradition and the present-day world gives Bandyopadhyay's canvases the best of both worlds.
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