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5 Indian Artworks That Show Art Has No Rules #WeAreArt

by Shopify API on January 24, 2020

How many of you remember the significance of Republic Day? Thanks to our freedom fighters who gave it their all, we are living to see the 71st Republic Day in 2020 since the Constitution of India was made in the year 1950. How does it relate to art? Before and after India gained its independence, art played a major role in signifying the need for freedom. Since most of our forefathers were not allowed to chant slogans, art was used as a medium to express feelings. Art gave freedom to those who felt suffocated. Through art, the people of India felt liberated.

In this article, we will take you through India’s timeline of famous artists who made their mark during the freedom struggle. Their paintings, art styles and forms have made a place in most Indian households. 

You must have seen these famous artworks at exhibitions, museums or even the internet at some point. If not, we remind you about these inspiring contributions done by some of India’s finest artists,


  1. ‘Bharat Mata’ by Abanindranath Tagore: Guess who was the founder of the prestigious Bengal School of Art? Abanindranath Tagore, the pioneer of art in India. His famous painting ‘Bharat Mata’ imbibes the spirit of the Mother of the Nation. A Bengali woman clad in a saree can be seen in the painting holding 4 items of national importance. These items represented what India needed before Independence.

  2. ‘Famine’ by Zainul Abedin: Zainul Abedin is known as one of the founding fathers of Indian art before Independence. His realistic depiction of India during its worst times is how he expressed his vision through art. In ‘Famine’, the artist showcases the poverty and grief-stricken condition of the country, especially during the infamous Bengal Famine of 1943 that targeted more than a million people in India. Bold strokes, duotones, and a blunt perspective can be shown in almost all of Abedin’s works.

  3. The Kalighat style paintings by Jamini Roy: Jamini Roy was a disciple under Abanindranath Tagore. She hailed from West Bengal and most of her paintings showcase the culture and ideas of the same. In her Kalighat style paintings, she draws inspiration from the folk styles of rural Bengal.

  4. ‘Man’ (1951) by M.F. Hussain: The Post Independence era calls for the Contemporary form of art, much of which is portrayed in M.F. Hussain’s work. In his painting ‘Man’, he brings the Cubist style of art in depicting an Indian man. By mixing the Indian with the Western ideas, the line gets fizzled. It encompasses the figures of a black man, bulls, female figures, upside-down men.

  5. ‘Sequence’ by Tyeb Mehta: Tyeb Mehta symbolizes the partition of India from Pakistan in his painting ‘Sequence’. Two figures can be seen separating from one another. The use of hollow figures used against bright colors represents Mehta’s style. The diagonals laid out in a zig-zag fashion depict the turmoil faced by both countries in 1947.

You can also take inspiration for your home decor from artists like S.H. Raza, Amrita Shergill, and Bhupen Kakar to name a few.

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