5 Famous Indian Painters that Show Art Has No Rules

How many of you remember the significance of Republic Day?

Thanks to our freedom fighters who gave it their all, we are living to see the 71st Republic Day in 2020 since the Constitution of India was made in the year 1950.

How does it relate to art?

Before and after India gained its independence, art played a significant role in signifying the need for freedom. Since most of our forefathers were not allowed to chant slogans, art was used as a medium to express feelings.

Art gave freedom to those who felt suffocated. Through art, the people of India felt liberated. 


Raising our glasses to the not-so-famous and famous painters of India who liberated us with art, let's take a look at some printed canvases!


This article will take you through India’s timeline of famous artists who made their mark during the freedom struggle.

Their paintings, art styles, and forms have made a place in most Indian households. 


You must have seen these famous Indian artworks at exhibitions, museums or even the internet at some point.

If not, we’re here to remind you about the inspiring and significant contributions made by some of India’s finest artists!


Renowned Indian Artists and their Art


  • ‘Bharat Mata’ by Abanindranath Tagore

Guess who the founder of the prestigious Bengal School of Art was? Abanindranath Tagore, the pioneer and best artist in India and one of the most famous Indian artists. One of his famous paintings, ‘Bharat Mata,’ imbibes the spirit of the Mother of the Nation. A Bengali woman clad in a saree can be seen in the painting holding 4 items of national importance. These items represented what India needed before Independence.

Bharat Mata by Abanindranath Tagore

Image Credit: The Heritage Lab


  • ‘Famine’ by Zainul Abedin

Zainul Abedin is known as one of the founding fathers of Indian art before Independence. His realistic depiction of India during its worst times is how he expressed his vision through art. In ‘Famine’, the artist showcases the poverty and grief-stricken condition of the country, especially during the infamous Bengal Famine of 1943 that targeted more than a million people in India. Bold strokes, duotones, and a blunt perspective can be shown in almost all of Abedin’s works. No wonder he is considered to be one of the best Indian artists.

Famine by Zainul Abedin

Image Credit: The Heritage Lab


  • The Kalighat style paintings by Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy was a disciple under Abanindranath Tagore. He hailed from West Bengal, and most of his paintings showcase the culture and ideas of the same. In his Kalighat style paintings, he draws inspiration from the folk styles of rural Bengal. He is also known as an art machine because he produced about 20,000 paintings during his life. All his famous Indian paintings would tell the same story, showcasing the ordinary middle class as the upholder of art. Hence, he had to be included in this curated list of painters of India.

The Kalighat style paintings by Jamini Roy

Image Credit: The Heritage Lab


  • ‘Man’ (1951) by M.F. Husain

The Post-Independence era calls for the Contemporary form of art, much of which is portrayed in Maqbool Fida Husain’s work. In his painting ‘Man’, he brings the Cubist style of art in depicting an Indian man. By mixing the Indian with the Western ideas, the differences between the two styles get fizzled. It encompasses the figures of a black man, bulls, female figures, upside-down men. M.F. Hussain is one of the most famous painters in India.

‘Man’ (1951) by M.F. Husain

Image Credit: Post War at Haus der Kunst


  • ‘Sequence’ by Tyeb Mehta

Tyeb Mehta symbolises the partition of India from Pakistan in his painting ‘Sequence’. Created in 1981, it is almost like he relives the era of bloodshed and the loss of countless lives. Two figures can be seen separating from one another. The use of hollow figures used against bright colours represents Mehta’s style. The diagonals laid out in a zig-zag fashion depict the turmoil faced by both countries in 1947. The sequence is a famous Indian artwork we should know about!

'Sequence’ by Tyeb Mehta

Image Credit: Pinterest


You can also take inspiration for your home decor from artists like S.H. Raza, Amrita Shergill, and Bhupen Kakar to name a few.


The Artment

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