Ram Kumar's first trip to Banaras in 1960 has left a resounding and deep rooted impression on the artist's sensibilities. After this first trip Kumar moved away from his figurative images, and the Banaras trip has frequently been presented as the formative period in his evolution as a landscape painter. Over the past forty years he has continued to visit Banaras and create images that are inspired by the city.
The artist Gieve Patel states, "The silt, the damp, the mould around the Ganges river becomes an ooze of paint, deep olive and umber, into which the ghats and buildings are etched by thin lines clearing the paint all the way down to the stained canvas. A town arises by negative impress on the all-claiming ooze. Ram Kumar's way of handling the paint has said something about Banaras as well." (Gieve Patel, 'To Pick up a Brush', Contemporary Indian Art, Grey Art Gallery, New York, 1985, p.12.)