Painting Freedom: Indian Modernism and its Three Rebels

The Leicester Museum & Art Gallery now hosts the largest exhibition ever held in the UK of artworks from the emergence of Indian modern art between 1870 and 1950, a defining period of modern Indian art.

Painting Freedom takes the viewer on a journey covering Early Bengal Oils, Kalighat paintings, and the Bengal School, before presenting an extensive coverage of the three rebels who helped define this quest for cultural independence: Hemen Mazumdar, Jamini Roy and Rabindranath Tagore.

This must see exhibition Painting Freedom is on from 11 September 2021 until 21 November 2021.

A country com­plex and vast India was and, despite the age of glob­al­i­sa­tion, remains a unique trea­sure trove of cre­ativity, expressed in its many and diverse cul­tures, lan­guages and reli­gions. Some see it as a living museum where tra­di­tions are pre­served yet evolve, while for others it remains the land of mys­ti­cism

In India, cre­ativity finds innu­mer­able forms of expres­sion. Now what is Modernism in Indian art?

The modern Indian art movement in Indian painting is considered to have begun in Calcutta in the late nineteenth century. The old traditions of painting had more or less died out in Bengal and new schools of art were started by the British. Initially, protagonists of Indian art such as Raja Ravi Varma drew on Western traditions and techniques including oil paint and easel painting.

A reaction to the Western influence led to a revival in primitivism, called as the Bengal school of art, which drew from the rich cultural heritage of India. It was succeeded by the Santiniketan school, led by Rabindranath Tagore‘s harking back to idyllic rural folk and rural life.