Jamini Roy Krishna and Balarama 1930s © The Estate of the Artist


Born 1887
Died 1972
Nationality Indian

Born in Beliatore, West Bengal, Roy studied at the Calcutta College of Art. His early works were in a western, academic style, and he was particularly influenced by Post Impressionism. However, from 1925, Roy turned to traditional Bengali art for inspiration, adopting the style of folk painters or patuas who illustrated gods and legends. His later work also features Christian themes. In the 1930s, Roy established a workshop in which apprentices helped him to produce pictures using a set of motifs. His intention was to make art which was affordable to everyone and to replace the idea of an artist having solo creative power. This was an aim also shared by Western artists such as Andy Warhol.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms

Folk Art

Folk art is a broad term encompassing a variety of styles, referring generally to the fine and applied arts of untrained artists working outside the academic mainstream. The concept of Folk Art originates from the nineteenth century, carrying a certain nostalgia for pre-industrialised society, and was integrated into avant-garde styles by many artists at the turn of the century.