Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Celebrated Indian artist Nandalal Bose’s paintings have gone on display for the first time ever in the United States, and judging by the response so far, the painter’s works are set to leave a lasting impression on the American audience.

An exhibition of Nandalal’s works entitled ‘Rhythms of India: The Art of Nandalal Bose (1882-1966)’ has been on display at the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) in San Diego, California since February 23. The exhibition was inaugurated on February 21 by India’s ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen.

Nandalal, born in Bihar in 1882, was well known for his versatile style. His paintings drew a lot from mythology, and his sketches of village life and folk themes remain highly regarded. He was also famously asked by Jawaharlal Nehru to sketch the emblems for the Government of India’s awards, including the Bharat Ratna and the Padmashri.

Around 80 works of his are on display, including postcards and a series of high-resolution and colour-corrected photographs of his murals from Kirti Mandir in Baroda. Also on show are replicas of architectural elements from his life, including a wooden arch at a doorway from Rabindranath Tagore’s house — Nandalal had a close relationship with Tagore, even illustrating several of his works — and grillwork from Nandalal’s studio at Shantiniketan.

Supratik Bose, Nandalal’s grandson who helped organise the exhibition, said the response so far had been “overwhelmingly positive” and visitors had responded with “enormous enthusiasm.” Nandalal’s paintings will be on display at the SDMA until May 18, following which the exhibition will move to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (June 28 – August 31) and the famous Art Institute of Chicago (May 31 – August 31 2009).