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Hemendranath Mazumdar

 (1894 - 1948)
Hemendranath Mazumdar was active/lived in India.  Hemendranath Mazumdar is known for painting.

Hemendranath Mazumdar

Biography from Christie's Mumbai

Born in 1894 in erstwhile Bengal, now a part of Bangladesh, Hemendranath Mazumdar was one of the few Indian artists of the early twentieth century to achieve both academic and commercial success.  Educated at the Jubilee Art School and the Government School of Arts in Kolkata, he gained a thorough understanding of the European academic style.  Although he was a close associate of Abanindranath Tagore, Mazumdar was never won over by the ideals of the Neo-Bengal School that Tagore founded. 

In a 1929 issue of the Illustrated Journal of Fine Arts, he wrote an article titled ‘The Making of a Picture’ in which he defined his working processes as typical of the prevailing academic technique favored by the British: first producing preparatory sketches, then more detailed pencil and wash studies prior to the final, finely structured painting.  Mazumdar’s oeuvre then followed in the tradition of Raja Ravi Varma and explored a comparable range of themes centering mainly on idealizing, sensual studies of the female form.  Despite also being recognized for his skill in the genre of landscape painting, Mazumdar is best known for his oil paintings of women, usually bathing or draped in wet saris.  His wife frequently sat for these portraits, explaining the similarities seen between many of the artist’s subjects.  These paintings combine elements of Western Classicism with Indian tradition, typically featuring a beautiful woman for example depicted ankle-deep in a lotus pond.  Her bowed head, the single flower tucked behind her ear and the modesty and innocence with which she holds her wet sari to her naked body, adds a sense of vulnerability and voyeurism to the painting.

During his lifetime Mazumdar was awarded many high profile commissions, including decorating a celebratory gate to welcome King George V of England to India in 1911, and being appointed the Court Artist of the Maharaja of Patiala (1932-38).  Many of his works created during this period still hang in the palaces of princely states including Jodhpur and Bikaner.  Mazumdar’s final great achievement was the design of a mural to accompany the All India Exhibition of 1948 in Calcutta, following Indian independence the year before.  The mural depicted scenes from his childhood in Bengal, serving as testament to his talent and cementing his legacy after he passed away later that year.

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About  Hemendranath Mazumdar

Born:  1894
Died:   1948
Known for:  painting