Famous Painters of India

The Indian art world is rich with talented artists who have made a significant impact on the global stage. Despite their significant contributions to the Indian art scene, the majority of India's population remains unaware of these pathbreaking artists and their achievements. This lack of awareness can be attributed to a variety of factors, including limited access to art education and the focus on more traditional forms of art in mainstream media. Here are some of the most renowned Indian artists and their achievements that we should know about:


1. Raja Ravi Varma: A young Varma started his artistic journey by painting mundane objects on the walls of his home. He became a renowned portrait painter, and his paintings were exhibited in an illustrious exhibition in Vienna in 1873, where he won three awards. He remains the first Indian artist to achieve this feat. His creation, 'Radha in the Moonlight,' was sold for INR 24 crore in an auction in 1890. Varma was best known for his exquisite paintings of Indian mythology and Indian women, which helped him gain immense popularity and recognition as a prominent artist of his time.


2. Amrita Sher-Gil: Sher-Gil was the first woman artist in the world to win a gold medal in Paris. She began formal painting lessons at the age of eight and created her masterpiece, 'Young Girls,' in 1932, leading to her nomination for the Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris in 1933. She remains the youngest artist and only Asian to win this honour. Additionally, Amrita was one of the first Indian artists to paint female nudes, challenging traditional cultural norms and paving the way for future generations of artists.


3. VS Gaitonde: Often regarded as the painter of silence, Gaitonde was one of the first six members of the Progressive Artists' Group of India. His work was influenced by various artistic traditions, including Zen Buddhism, Indian philosophy, and Western abstraction. Gaitonde held several solo exhibitions in New York and Venice Biennale (1962). He was awarded a grant from the Rockefeller fund in 1964, and his work, 'Painting No. 4,' was included in the exhibition of recently acquired artworks at the Modern Museum of Modern Art.


4. SH Raza: As a founding member of the Progressive Artists' Group, Raza's work reflected his in-depth understanding of Indian philosophy, revolving around 'Bindu.' This marked a turning point in his career and gave birth to a new painter inside him. He was particularly interested in the interplay of light and color, and his paintings often featured bright, luminous hues that seemed to glow from within. The use of vibrant colors and geometric shapes in his paintings became his signature style and helped establish him as one of the leading modern artists of India. 


5. Ram Kumar: Padmashree and Padma Bhushan awardee artist Ram Kumar was a first-string abstract artist with profound occult cogitation. His paintings depicted the hardship of commoners, with crooked streets, badly built houses, and hanging cables. Additionally, he was greatly influenced by his travels to Varanasi, where he found inspiration in the city's ancient architecture, vibrant culture, and spiritual energy. His masterpiece, 'Vagabond,' was sold for a massive $1.1 million at Christie's.


As we conclude, it is worth pondering how many other pathbreaking artists from India may have been overlooked or forgotten. We invite you to share your favorite Indian artists with us in the comments below. And if you want to discover more talented Indian artists, be sure to check out Memeraki's directory and explore the vibrant world of Indian folk art.



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