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Modern & Contemporary Indian Paintings Modern & Contemporary Indian Paintings BENODE BEHARI MUKHERJEE (1904 - 1980)
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Born in 1904, Benode Behari Mukherjee joined the Kala Bhavan, Vishwa Bharti University at Shantiniketan in 1919 where he had Nandalal Bose and poet-Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as 'gurus'. He spent his most creative period at Kala Bhavan where he also began working as an art teacher in 1925, before leaving in 1949 and moving to New Delhi. In between 1925 and 1949, Mukherjee also worked as a curator for the Nepal Government Museum and as an advisor to the Educational Department in Nepal besides training artists in Mussoorie and Patna.
Mukherjee was one among the leading art figures of pre-independent India and played a crucial role in the evolution of visual art in the country. He broke away from the 'Bengal Revivalist School' and established a more modern school of art. Thus, whether he painted the sparse scrubland around Shantiniketan or sunflowers and lilies or for that matter the Himalayan landscape, his paintings were based not merely on observations but on timeless patterns - on the intrinsic feel and texture of things.
His works are in the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, Rabindra Bharti, Kolkata and other private and public collections. Awarded the 'Padma Vibhushan' in 1974, he was also honored by his alma mater Vishwa Bharti University with its highest title 'Dekhikottam'.
Benode Behari Mukherjee turned completely blind in 1957 and passed away in New Delhi in November 1980.