The Saranath Buddha

Topics: Visual arts, Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan Pages: 9 (3063 words) Published: February 13, 2013
Benode Behari Mukherjee
Binod Behari Mukherjee|
Born| February 7, 1904
West Bengal, India|
Died| November 11, 1980 (aged 76)
Nationality| Indian|
Field| painter|

Binod Behari Mukherjee (Bengali: বিনোদ বিহারী মুখার্জি) (7 February 1904 – 11 November 1980) was an Indian artist from West Bengal state. Mukherjee was one of the pioneers of Indian modern art, as a painter and as a celebrated muralist. He was one of the earliest artists in modern India to take up mural as a mode of artistic expression, and his murals display a subtle understanding of environmental and architectural nuances. Contents [hide]  * 1 Early life * 2 Career * 3 Style * 4 Awards and honors * 5 References * 6 External links| Early life

Binod Behari Mukherjee was born in Behala, Kolkata (then Calcutta), now in the Indian state of West Bengal. He taught at Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan. Career
Mukherjee was born with severe eye problem, being myopic on one eye and blind in the other, he continued to paint and do murals even after he lost his eyesight completely following an eye operation in 1956. In 1919, he took admission in Kala-Bhavan, the art faculty of Visva-Bharati University. He was a student of another celebrated Indian artist Nandlal Bose, and a friend and close associate of Ramkinkar Baij, the celebrated sculptor. In 1925, he joined Kala Bhavan as a member of the teaching faculty. He inspired many brilliant students over the years, notable among them are painter Jahar Dasgupta, K.G. Subramanyan [1], Beohar Rammanohar Sinha [2], sculptor & printmaker Somnath Hore, designer Riten Majumdar and filmmaker Satyajit Ray. In 1949, he left Kala Bhavan and joined as a curator at the Nepal Government Museum in Kathmandu. From 1951-52, he taught at the Banasthali Vidyapith in Rajasthan. In 1952, he along with his wife Leela, started an art training school in Mussoorie. In 1958, he returned to Kala Bhavan, and later became its principal. In 1979, a collection of his Bengali writings, Chitrakar was published. Style

His style was a complex fusion of idioms absorbed from Western modern art and the spirituality of oriental traditions (both Indian and Far-Eastern). Some of his works show a marked influence of Far-Eastern traditions, namely calligraphy and traditional wash techniques of China and Japan. He took lessons in calligraphy from travelling artists from Japan. During 1937-38 he spend his years in Japan with artist such as Toba Sojo. Similarly he also learnt from the Indian miniature painting in the frescoes of Mughal and Rajput periods. Idioms of Western modern art also bore heavily upon his style, as he is often seen to blend Cubist techniques (such as multi-perspective and faceting of planes) to solve problems of space. Above all, his style was celebrated and acclaimed because of the harmonious blend he achieved out of all these different traditions. His grand murals inside the Visva-Bharati campus are testimony to that. In 1948 he went to become director of National Museum of Kathmandu, in Nepal. In the later years he went to Doon valley, where he started an art school but had to discontinue due the financial shortage. In 1972 Mukherjee's former student at Santiniketan, filmmaker Satyajit Ray, made a documentary film on him titled "The Inner Eye". The film is an intimate investigation of Mukherjee's creative persona and how he copes with his blindness being a visual artist. Mukherjee's daughter Mrinalini is also an artist.[3].

Awards and honors
In 1974, he received the Padma Vibhushan award. He was conferred with the Deshikottama by the Visva Bharati University in 1977. He received the Rabindra Puraskar in 1980.


A recipient of Padma Vibhushan, Binod Bihari Mukherjee was an artist with diverse interests. He was perhaps the most informed Indian artist of his generation. Besides writing...
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