Jamini Roy

(1887-1972)

Born in Bankura district in 1887, Roy is a graduate from the Government College of Art, Kolkata. Jamini Roy was a pupil of Abanindranath Tagore, the creator of 'Indian Society of Oriental Art'. He took lessons from Patua, a community known for their traditional occupation of painting idols, to better his craft. He mainly used all the bold and primary colors like red, yellow ochre, blue, and white. Roy brought versatility and emotion to folk art. In the early 1930’s, Roy made a complete switch to indigenous materials to paint on woven mats, cloth and wood coated with lime. Interestingly, his inspiration for painting on woven mats came from the textures he found in Byzantine art, which he had seen in colour photographs. It occurred to him that painting on a woven mat might make for an interesting mosaic-like surface. He was honored with the Padma Bhushan in 1955. Jamini Roy died on 24 April 1972 in Kolkata, where he had lived all his life.