Hemendranath (1894-1948) painter. Hemendranath Majumdar was born
in a village named Gachihata under Kishoreganj district.
His father Durganath Majumdar
was an officer of Atharabadi Zamindar Estate of Mymensingh.
his childhood, Hemendranath had inclination towards pictorial
art. When he was a student of tenth class he fled home, went to
Calcutta and got himself admitted to the Government Art School
there. Soon he was frustrated with the routine and discipline
of the school and left it. He, however, did not give up painting
and got himself admitted in the Jubilee Art School of Calcutta
where he studied for about four years.
After studying for a while in the Government School of Art in
Kolkata, Mazumdar and other students, became disgruntled with
the British Principal's program to Indianize art. Things became
more than bearable, when, in 1911, the King of England toured
India and the students of the School of Art were asked by Principal
Havell to design, build and decorate a celebratory gate as a loyal
welcome to the arriving monarch.
inspiration from this incident, many academic artists, such as
Hemendranath, Bhabani Charan Laha and Atul Bose joined the Ranadaprasad
Gupta's Jubilee Art Academy, which was founded in 1897, in a break
away gesture. This taking control of events and defying authority
made Mazumdar aware of the necessity to follow one's own instincts
rather than sticking to a particular movement or group. He became
one of the few Indian artists of the early twentieth century who
enjoyed both monetary success and critical appreciation. In 1921,
Mazumdar won the gold medal for his painting `Reminiscence' at
an exhibition in Mumbai. In the same year another of his paintings
was awarded the first prize by the Society of Fine Arts in Kolkata.
1929, Mazumdar founded the `Indian Academy of Art' at his own
residence in Kolkata. Renowned artists like Bhabani Charan Laha,
Jogesh Chandra Seal, Jamini Roy and Atul Bose were actively involved
in the Academy's activities. The academy's first tri-monthly journal
was published in 1920, introducing upcoming artists and printing
reproductions of their work in full colour. The journal also published
serious essays on contemporary art by various artists. Hemendranath
Mazumdar also published picture-album called 'Indian Masters,'
in which the paintings of almost all the important artists selected
from all over the subcontinent were reproduced.
1931, he was invited by the Maharaja of Kashmir to work in the
palace, and later Hemendranath Mazumdar was officially appointed
'Court Painter' of the Maharaja of Patiala. During this period
in his career he executed many oil paintings that still hang in
the courts of many Rajasthani princely states like Jodhpur ad
Bikaner. After Independence, in 1947, Hemendranath was invited
to paint a mural to decorate the All India exhibition, in which
he excelled all his previous work. He painted its panels with
several scenes of the life in Bengal he grew up with. Painting
this large mural drained much of the old artist's health, and
after a year, in 1948, he passed away, leaving only an amazing
heritage of works behind for his admirers.