After a gap of 8 years, India has finally returned to Venice Biennale Arte 2019 with paintings from Nandalal Bose’s famous “Haripura Congress” collections. It’s a moment of pride for every Indian as the Venice Biennale Arte is the world’s most prestigious art exhibition group BUT THAT’s NOT ALL. Perhaps very few people know that there is an amazing history behind Nandalal Bose’s Haripura paintings.
Born in Munger in the state of Bihar in the year 1882, Nandalal Bose was one of the pioneers
of modern Indian art and a key figure of Contextual Modernism. He was the student of another great maestro Abanindranath Tagore. In the year 1922, he became the principal of Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan.
It was the year 1938 when Mahatma Gandhi asked Nandalal Bose to create the Haripura paintings. For the Indian National Congress party meeting at Haripura, Gujarat, Nandalal Bose had painted around 400 posters. The posters depicted rural life and landscapes, painted on handmade paper with pigments made from earth and stones and mounted on strawboards. The posters were planned to awaken the spirit of swadeshi and political consciousness at large. Nandalal Bose was brought in because his works were symbolic of the nationalist spirit.
Today after a hundred years, Nandalal work has become globally symbolical for connecting common people with politics through art.The “Haripura Congress” collections is a unique example ofhow world politics can be converted into a beautiful and soul touching process.