Why the Bengal School of paintings is called the "Renaissance School "? Discuss the salient features of the Bengal School paintings.

In Bengal, a new group of nationalist artists gathered around Abinandranath Tagore.
This new group of painters rejected the art of Raja Ravi Varma as imitative and westernized. They felt that a genuine Indian style of painting must draw the inspiration from the non-western art tradition and should try to capture the spiritual essence of the East. They broke away from the tradition of oil painting and also realistic style of Raja Ravi Varma and company artists.
They turned to the inspiration to medieval Indian traditions of the miniature paintings and ancient art of mural paintings in Ajanta Caves. The continuity of earlier traditions was sought to be maintained by borrowing from legends and classical literature like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, Gita, and Puranas, the writings of Kalidasa and Omar Khayyam.
These artists were also influenced by the art of the Japanese artists who visited India at the time to develop an Asian Art movement.
These above experiments called “avant garde” led to the development of the Bengal School of Art. Avant Garde refers to the people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics.
Therefore, Bengal school in painting was called the Renaissance School as well as the Revivalist School because this movement endeavoured for revival of the Indian ancient and medieval traditions.
Important Features:

  • The paintings were Simple and standard paintings with attractive colour scheme technique.
  • Bright colours were not used.
  • The Bengal painters have made best possible efforts to bring in the rhythm, linear gracefulness and poise of Ajanta in their painting.
  • Influence of Mughal and Rajasthan School can also be seen.
  • Elegant and refined figures.
Question for UPSC Mains:
Why the Bengal School of paintings is called the “Renaissance School “? Discuss the salient features of the Bengal School paintings.

Published: May 1, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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