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Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art including Indian Miniature Paintings

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London

Shyamal Dutta Ray
1934-2005
UNTITLED
Signed and dated 'Shyamal Dutta Ray '03' in Bengali lower right
Watercolour on paper
49.5 by 67.3 cm. (19 1/2 by 26 1/2 in.)
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Catalogue Note

Known as a master watercolourist, Shyamal Dutta Ray is patricularly sensitive to physical and emotional suffering. His works are steeped with a sense of melancholy, addressing the urban decay and stark poverty of Calcutta in the 1970s, portraying broken walls, peeling plaster, cobweb-filled rooms and empty houses; a commentary on the transient nature of existence. The present work is from a poignantly rendered series depicting royal subjects who are now powerless, old potentates stripped of their vigor and vitality and reduced to a passing memory of a long gone era. Beautifully rendered, the work is heightened with an underlying sense of loss and tragedy.

Historically this medium was first embraced by the Bengal School artists, and had largely been used to depict landscapes. Ray has reinvented this medium, producing brilliant, thematic works, imbued with a universal appeal, that derived its inspiration from the joy and suffering of the common man.

Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art including Indian Miniature Paintings

|
London