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Master Artist Jamini Roy

"Call me a Patua"

Jamini Roy preferred being called a Patua.

From the cultural hub of the country, Beliatore, West Bengal, Jamini Roy, a Master Artist and an expressionist during the freedom struggle of India, his works are considered pioneers and a boost for the community of Patua.

And Patua is what he preferred being called too.

Patuas are artisans community in the states of West Bengal , Jharkhand and parts of Orissa. Jamini Roy, stuck to the roots of the folk art of his birthplace and engaged himself while there was an eruption of Modern Art at the same time. His refusal to adopt European canvases and colors to yield money, was a brave move.

Patua Community

Patua Community-West Bengal

A portrait painter, in the beginning of his career, Jamini, left it to move towards bringing back the Bengali folk art, and the art of Kalighat Temples, also known as Kalighat Paintings and its surroundings became the major focus of his works. His involvement with the Patuas was a major reason for him to stay and understand the art of the common. It was important to him that his Art is valued and is in right hands. Legend has it, that he brought back his art from the people when he thought it was kept and maintained poorly. It was important for him that Art, especially his Art is accessible to all.

kalighat painting

Kalighat Paintings- Art Style


Features of his Works:

-Indian festivities and celebrations, like marriages was one of the main portrayals in his works.

- Since his works were inspired by the Kalighat Temples and the Pattachitra, it can be noted that the portrayals of the characters in the paintings have large eyes, and sharp features.

Bride and Companion-Jamini Roy

Bride and Companion- Jamini Roy


- Many of his works are inspired by the incidences in mythological stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

- Some of his works also have religious themes of Ganesha and Radha Krishna.

- His works have an efficient use of the space on the cloth. The use of negative space (the backdrop), and the positive space (the figures and other elements) have an innate blend despite being utterly separate entities.

Untitled by Jamini Roy

Untitled by Jamini Roy


- Depiction of animals and their way of living was also one of the things his works represented. The features of the animals in the paintings, like any other figure were sharp and edgy.

- Not only Hindu Mythology, but his works also depicted stories from Christian mythology. The stories of Crucifixion is also seen in some of his works, but the style of depiction remained rural Indian.


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