Hemendranath Mazumdar


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Hemen Majumdar

Price of a painting: 38,700 – 512,200 €.

Estimate of a drawing: 1,300 – 34,500€.

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The desire to move away from the classical path of the state artist

Hemendranath Majumdar was born in a village called Gachihata under Kishoreganj district. His father Durganath Majumdar was an officer of the Atharabadi Zamindar estate of Mymensingh. Since his childhood, Hemendranath had an attraction for pictorial art. As a student, he ran away from home to join the Calcutta State School of Art. The discipline given by the school prevented him from being fully autonomous in his artistic production, which is why he decided to leave the course before the end. However, he did not give up painting and joined the Jubilee School of Art in Calcutta where he studied for about four years.

Bengali influences

With great enthusiasm, he started participating in various art exhibitions across India and gained much reputation. In 1921, he was awarded a gold medal for his painting Smrti and in the same year, he was awarded by the Calcutta Society of Fine Art for his painting ‘Pallipran’. In 1922 and 1923, his paintings entitled Jhankar and Kardamay Kamal won awards in Madras and Bombay (Mumbai) respectively, and Hemendranath’s fame as an artist spread widely. During this period, reproductions of his paintings were published in various Bengali newspapers and periodicals and he was acclaimed as a popular artist by the intelligentsia and art lovers. His works had a great demand among the rich people, especially the zamindars. Hemendranath Majumdar undoubtedly carved a niche for himself among Bengali artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The famous art teacher Ranadagupta of the Calcutta School of Art was his mentor. Through learning from this art-mentor, Hemendranath learnt to work in the western style of oil painting, watercolour, pastel and charcoal. He excelled in painting subjects in oil and had no equal in this medium. His paintings reached their peak through subject selection, personal skill and colour refinement, and mastery of his magical brushstrokes.

Oil paintings that marked his career

Soon after 1947, Hemendranath participated in some of the Indian art exhibitions where his exquisite oil paintings were acclaimed. Among these oil paintings, subjects like Fasal Kata (harvest of crops), Machh Dhara (fishing), etc. deserve to be mentioned. He worked hard while transforming the large oil paintings from the small watercolours. This meticulous and hard work for many months broke his health and he faced an untimely death on 22 July 1948.

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