SOLD TO BENEFIT THE PS CHARITIES PS Charities is a Public Charitable Trust established in the year 1992 by Mrs. Prema Srinivasan, a member of the TVS Family. The credo of the trust is to ensure that the poor and socially marginalised get an equal opportunity to succeed in life by providing them with access to high quality education, financial aid and medical relief while also encouraging them to nurture and embrace their own social and cultural heritage.
RAMKINKAR BAIJ (1910-1980)

Festive Eve

RAMKINKAR BAIJ (1910-1980)
Festive Eve
signed in Bengali (lower right); inscribed '"FESTIVE EVE." BY - RAMKINKER. (SANTINIKETAN WEST BENGAL INDIA.) PRICE - RS 800/- RUPEES EIGHT HUNDRED ONLY' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
32¾ x 27¾ in. (83.2 x 70.5 cm.)
Painted circa 1960s
Acquired directly from the artist

Lot Essay

Ramkinkar Baij was born in Bakura in West Bengal in 1910. He studied at Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan, where he was trained by two visiting European sculptors, including Madame Milward, a student of Bourdelle. Also mentored by Rabindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose, Baij soon developed a style truly his own. Deeply inspired by nature, the simple, hardworking Santhal tribal people he lived among, and his own folk background, he evolved a unique aesthetic that is now recognised for its instrumental contribution to Indian art history. Regarded as a pioneer of modern Indian sculpture, Baij was also adept with the brush, and "[...] painted like a poet who saw life in every animate and inanimate thing around him." (R. Siva Kumar, Ramkinkar Baij: A Retrospective, New Delhi, 2012, p. 12)

"While a relentless effort was on for developing an Indian idiom that could relate to its traditional forms, Ram Kinkar sought his own direction without bothering about the past tradition [...] Instead of the wash technique he would use oil colours, dabbing Santhal wraps with packet colours from the local market thinned with linseed oil. He produced large figures with bold, broad strokes at a time when dainty miniatures were the hallmark of good taste. Out of the alienation from the formalism practiced at Santiniketan emerged a very personal style which had so much to offer posterity. Instead of drawing idealized and conceptualized figures, he studied "life" around him, thus introducing a bold and virile realism." (Sankho Chaudhuri, Ramkinker Vaij, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, 1990, p. 5)

This particular painting beautifully embodies Baij's aesthetic sentiment. The robust fertility of the female figure is masterfully depicted; the quick, strong brush strokes add a sense of motion and an almost fluid vibrancy to the compositon. The full, graceful curves of the figures serve to reinforce their innate femininity in this poetically illuminated scene from their simple, rhythmic lives.

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