Acquired directly from the artist by Bani Prasad and Jharna Banerjee, Calcutta
Thence by descent to the present owner
Somnath Hore joined the Communist party during the 1940s, having witnessed the brutality of war during the Japanese bombing of Chittagong. Hore was assigned to produce drawings and posters for the Party, depicting the atrocities of the Bengal famine and the Tebhaga struggle of North Bengal. As a Communist, human suffering was 'not an existential predicament into which we are all born, but something always socially engendered.' (R. S. Kumar, 'Somnath Hore: A Reclusive Socialist and a Modernist,' Bengal Art: New Perspectives,
Although Hore was to leave the Party in 1956, it left a lasting impression on his art. In the artist's own words 'All the wounds and wounded I have seen are engraved on my consciousness.' ('Somnath Hore; Epic Vision of Suffering,' Art of Bengal, A Vision Defined,
2002, p. 73)
This rare metal plate originates from an important period in the artist's career. In 1958, Hore was invited to set up the first ever department of printmaking at the Delhi Polytechnic. At this time he began experimenting 'with intricate compositions, using multi-coloured etchings printed off a single matrix. The works are delicate yet richly textured, and the artist uses colour for the first time in an expressive manner.' (A. Jhaveri, A Guide to 101 Modern & Contemporary Indian Artists, India Book House Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, 2005, p. 38).