Jamini Roy

Date of Birth: April 11, 1887

Place of Birth: April 24, 1972

Date of Death: Beliatore, West Bengal, India

Place of Death: Kolkata, India

Profession: Painting

Father: Ramataran Roy

Awards: Padma Bhushan (1954), Viceroy's gold medal (1934), Fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi (1955)

Walk into an average middle-class art-loving household of West Bengal, and chances are that you might come across a well-preserved portrait of Jamini Roy rather than a fancy looking artwork of one of India’s many modern artists. The paintings had to be well-preserved, for Jamini Roy would not have sold his work, had he doubted his buyer’s passion for art. While most of the Indian painters of the 20th Century were excited about modern art, which fetched them good returns, Jamini Roy stood out for his love towards Indian roots. His passion for simple Indian folk art was such that he did not care about selling his works for fancy prices and only sold them for as little as 350 rupees. And he would buy back his works, should he find out that his paintings are maintained poorly by the buyer. Influenced by the simplicity of Kalighat paintings (Indian folk art), Jamini Roy gave up on modern art and stuck to his roots, winning millions of hearts in the process. He also gave up on using European paints and even canvases to replace them with suitable alternatives. In 1954, the Government of India honored him with Padma Bhushan for his contribution towards art.