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Benode Behari Mukherjee

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Nationality  Indian
Role  Artist
Children  Mrinalini Mukherjee
Name  Benode Mukherjee
Books  Chitrakar: The Artist
Movement  Contextual Modernism
Known for  painter
Died  November 11, 1980, India

Benode Behari Mukherjee ArtSlant Benode Behari Mukherjee

Born  February 7, 1904West Bengal, India
Spouse  Leela Mukherjee (m. ?–1980)
Similar People  Mrinalini Mukherjee, Satyajit Ray, Rabindranath Tagore

Education  Visva-Bharati University

KG Subramanyan - Benode Behari Mukherjee, Brahma and Tulsidas’ monkey god (19/72)

Benode Behari Mukherjee (Bengali: বিনোদ বিহারী মুখার্জি) (7 February 1904 – 11 November 1980) was an Indian artist from West Bengal state. Mukherjee was one of the pioneers of Indian modern art and a key figure of Contextual Modernism. He was one of the earliest artists in modern India to take up mural as a mode of artistic expression, and his murals display a subtle understanding of environmental and architectural nuances.


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Benode Behari Mukherjee | Wikipedia audio article

Early life

Benode Behari Mukherjee Benode Behari Mukherjee Works on Sale at Auction Biography

Binod Behari Mukherjee was born in Behala, in the state of West Bengal, now recently included into Kolkata (2009 onwards). He taught at Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan.


Mukherjee was born with severe eye problem, being myopic on one eye and blind in the other, he continued to paint and do murals even after he lost his eyesight completely following an unsuccessful eye cataract operation in 1956. In 1919, he took admission in Kala Bhavana, the art faculty of Visva-Bharati University. He was a student of another celebrated Indian artist Nandalal Bose, and a friend and close associate of Ramkinkar Baij, the celebrated sculptor. In 1925, he joined Kala Bhava bijn as a member of the teaching faculty. He inspired many brilliant students over the years, notable among them are painter Jahar Dasgupta, Ramananda Bandopadhyay, K.G. Subramanyan [1], Beohar Rammanohar Sinha [2], sculptor & printmaker Somnath Hore, designer Riten Majumdar and filmmaker Satyajit Ray. In 1949, he left Kala Bhavan and joined as a curator at the Nepal Government Museum in Kathmandu. From 1951-52, he taught at the Banasthali Vidyapith in Rajasthan. In 1952, he along with his wife Leela, started an art training school in Mussoorie. In 1958, he returned to Kala Bhavan, and later became its principal. In 1979, a collection of his Bengali writings, Chitrakar was published.

Benode Behari Mukherjee Works by Benode Behari Mukherjee Akar Prakar

In Oxford Art Online R. Siva Kumar claims, "His major work is the monumental 1947 mural at the Hindi Bhavan, Shantiniketan, based on the lives of medieval Indian saints and painted without cartoons. With its conceptual breadth and synthesis of elements from Giotto and Tawaraya Sotatsu, as well as from the art of such ancient Indian sites as Ajanta and Mamallapuram, it is among the greatest achievements in contemporary Indian painting."


Benode Behari Mukherjee Postcards from Benode Behari Mukherjee

His style was a complex fusion of idioms absorbed from Western modern art and the spirituality of oriental traditions (both Indian and Far-Eastern). Some of his works show a marked influence of Far-Eastern traditions, namely calligraphy and traditional wash techniques of China and Japan. He took lessons in calligraphy from travelling artists from Japan. During 1937-38 he spent a few months in Japan with artists such as Arai Kampō. Similarly he also learnt from the Indian miniature paintings in the frescoes of Mughal and Rajput periods. Idioms of Western modern art also bore heavily upon his style, as he is often seen to blend Cubist techniques (such as multi-perspective and faceting of planes) to solve problems of space. Above all, his style was celebrated and acclaimed because of the harmonious blend he achieved out of all these different traditions. His grand murals inside the Visva-Bharati campus are testimony to that. In 1948 he went to become director of National Museum of Kathmandu, in Nepal. In the later years he went to Doon valley, where he started an art school but had to discontinue due the financial shortage.

Benode Behari Mukherjee Benodebehari Mukherjee A Recluse and the Centenary Show

In 1972 Mukherjee's former student at Santiniketan, filmmaker Satyajit Ray, made a documentary film on him titled "The Inner Eye". The film is an intimate investigation of Mukherjee's creative persona and how he copes with his blindness being a visual artist.

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Mukherjee's daughter Mrinalini is also an artist.[3].

Awards and honors

In 1974, he received the Padma Vibhushan award. He was conferred with the Deshikottama by the Visva Bharati University in 1977. He received the Rabindra Puraskar in 1980.


Benode Behari Mukherjee Wikipedia