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Item Description:

PROPERTY FROM A NEW DELHI COLLECTION


Tempera on paper

1963

4 x 7 in. (10 x 7.6 cm.)

Signed and dated 'Ganesh Pyne '63' in Bengali upper left


The current work is characteristic of Pyne’s 1960s style. There is a sense of depth and idyllic lightness portrayed through the melancholic nature of the painting where he uses the firmness of line and light with a subtle yet luminous palette. Inspired by the Bengal School artists, Pyne turns to tempera in the early 1960s and makes it his own medium. As Ella Datta says ‘Pynes early paintings in the late fifties show an artist who had deep admiration for Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose. The naturalistic figuration, the sensitive palette rendered in washes remind one of the masters Bengal school… From the mid sixties however, Pyne’s style underwent a radical transformation. He discarded pure naturalism and evolved a distinctive visual language gradually. He was groping towards this early on in the sixties. He replaced the transparent medium of watercolour with, first ink, then gouache, and later tempera. The palette darkened considerably. The dramatic change so wonderful to observe, made him straddle the chasm between several generations of artists.’ (Ella Datta, Ganesh Pyne His Life and Times, Calcutta, 1998, p. 14)


The tempera illustrated depicts an ethereal angel like figure with wings spread out. The poetry of Shakti Chattopadhyay left an indelible impression on Pyne and death haunts Shakti’s poems in the same way as it lurks in the imagery of Pyne. The artist states ‘Images are the bedrock of my art and Shakti was a magician of imagery.’ (ibid., p. 37) For both poet and artist ‘…the beauties of the flesh are but passing. The skeleton is the ultimate truth. But they put their faith in some eternal values. The source of illumination in Pyne’s tenebrous world was not mere painterly device. It was a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. It is clear that the poet and painter shared a melancholy temperament, a trait shared by many of Bengal’s creative artists. It is also very obvious that the sensibilities of the poet and the painter were shaped by their times… the Calcutta of the fifties and sixties played a big role in moulding them.’ (ibid., p. 38)

About The Artist:

GANESH PYNE (1937 - 2013)

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