Ramananda Bandyopadhyay (b 1936)
Born in 1936, in the town of Birbhum, Ramananda Bandyopadhyay completed his graduation in Fine Arts from Kala Bhavan, Shantiniketan under the guidance of Nandalal Bose. As the last surviving representative of The Bengal School, a lyrical & romantic mood pervades his work. Inspired by the simplicity & the uncomplicated lives of the rustics, his work has a radiant innocence that is strongly reminiscent of an earlier era when life had dignity & a sense of graciousness. A very distinct characteristic of Ramananda Bandyopadhyay’s work is the recurrent use of a palette that comprises of reds,browns,yellows,greens & white. In a career spanning over five decades, he has consistently employed the same colours.
Drawing on the ancient & rich cultural folk & religious history of Bengal & India, he paints numerous Gods & Goddesses & the fascinating tales that abound them. However, he is also an observer of modern life. Many of his paintings depict the humdrum existence of the middle-class & their day-to-day activities. A perfect blend of tradition & the present day world, gives Ramananda Bandyopadhyay’s paintings the best of both worlds.
Ramananda is a recipient of Four Academy Awards in 1961, 1972, 1978 & 1980 besides the Abanindranath Puraskar by the Government of West Bengal in 2000. He has held many solo shows and group shows across India and abroad including Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan in 1969; Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata in 1971, 1975, 1981 & 1986; All India Fine Arts and Craft Society, New Delhi in 1972.
A retrospective exhibition of Ramananda’s works was organised at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata in 2003. He is one of the trustee members of Indian Museum, Kolkata and also a member of Kolkata Corporation Heritage Committee.