Hemen Majumdar And His Mastery Of Painting Women Elegantly
Updated: Feb 17
Writing for artists like Hemen Majumdar is no less than an accomplishment, and I proudly inherit it. When one moves to Calcutta, they might see the almighty cultural capital of India along with the tastiest desserts, but what people like us look at is the flashback of images and reflections of the art galleries and the proud Tagore family! The artist I am writing about today has a legacy that can never be submerged under the vast ocean of the modern era. He is another nude artist from Bengal diaries who made erotic paintings but to admire it needs more than the thinking of grown-ups. The freedom struggle of Indians was undoubtedly harsh, but the artistry behind it is fascinating, and the Avante garde painters glorify the history and present of the country. Let us go back to those days, and it is time to be nostalgic about the imposing culture of India through the naturalistic art of Hemen Majumdar, full name Hemendranath Majumdar.
Born in a landowning family in Bengal (now Bangladesh), he started his career against his father's wishes. He studied art in a privately owned Jubilee Academy, but his artwork has European techniques and norms that suggest that he is a more self-taught artist through the books; obtained from England. He tried to learn from the reproductions in art books in the formation of colonial artists. Hemen Majumdar, along with his two great close friends, Atul Bose and Jamini Roy, made their financial ends meet through odd artistic jobs such as painting on the walls of theatres or producing portraits of deceased ones, a Victorian custom in Bengal.
Hemen Majumdar / Mazumdar
Date of birth
19 September 1894
Date of death
22 July 1948
Modern Indian Period
The Indian Academy of Art in Bengal had two groups- the Orientalist group run by Abanindranath and Gagendranath Tagore, who opposed western-ism and provoked Indian art, and the academic artist, who influenced Western art effects. The Tagore brothers abstained these artists from exhibitions and reach as they opposed the westernism style and were more attached to Indian art. However, the exhibitions Hemen Majumdar organized with his friends showed Indian academic artists throughout the country. Furthermore, they started to gain a wide readership of the westernism art by introducing a journal with the art of naturalism, news and gossip, travelogues, short stories and humorous pieces. However, in some time, it folded due to financial constraints. The second venture, the Society of Fine Arts, they were successful and popular among the countrymen.
From 1921-22, there were more than a thousand paintings on display at the Society of Fine Art's first exhibition, redressing neglect experienced by the academic artist throughout the country. With a successful retreat, however, the group disbanded as Bose left for England in 1924.
Throughout the mid-life of Hemen Majumdar, he struggled to get a successful career, unlike other artists. It was very later when he got recognized. A commercial firm acquired the reproduction rights to one of Hemen's paintings, which led to his first financial success. Furthermore, the Maharajas of Jaipur, Bikaner, Kotah, Kashmir, Cooch Behar, Mayurbhanj, Patiala and other princely states got attracted to his erotic, intimate and sensible art. As a state artist, it was the handsome salary of Maharaja of Patiala, Sir Bhupindranat Singh, that bought him to build his studio in Calcutta. He won only three prizes, at the venerable Bombay Art Society in three successive years, one gold medal for Smriti (Memories) in 1920.
Till his end of life, he relentlessly fought a war against the Orientalists and the right of academic artists. After learning about his life, I thought you might be interested in his art gallery. And so hold your breath for the beautiful and naturalistic art which can give you goosebumps!
9 Best Paintings Of Hemen Majumdar.
The naturalistic art painting by Hemen Majumdar shows the delicacy of a woman here with a saree draped to cover her breasts. Looking down at her blushing face and fluffy cheeks with her beautiful innocence in her eyes, she is not a mere object of desire but an extraordinary feeling of bliss. The dark blue saree she holds with her hand puts a sensational feeling on her half-covered body. The long black hair with the layers and half curled adds extraordinary attraction to her look. The gold chain adds tenderness to her skin. She convincingly is active daydreaming with her nude back, bringing her smooth youthful flesh alive. She is mature enough and maybe married. This artwork beautifully displays domestic scenes of women.
Shilpi is not mere a composition but an inside glimpse of every lady while she decorates herself and adds an aroma of her charm to others. In her dressing room, she is free to be naked and admire her body like no other can. As she wears a green saree, she has a little flesh tone on the bone layer and a few line marks that define her feminine beauty. Her beautiful jewellery looks good on her smooth youthful skin. Her exposed breast is well-toned and firm. Hair dressed, eyes on the ground, she has all the things for someone to be in love with her severe glimpses. I wish you see the sensations in the erotic painting that are supposed to be a part of every young woman out there.
3. Dilli Ka Laddu.
Dilli ka Laddu, loosely translated as the obscure object of desire, was a controversial artwork where people might come across objections. Nevertheless, the translucent watercolour art shows the naked lady from her back. The nude artist grabs the opportunity to bring youthful skin with fewer muscles and bone structure, taking the originality of a woman's body, through a revelation of her back. The perfect female body never exists, as each of the ladies out there, including me, has our speciality and beauty; never be compared with anyone. Hemen displayed this logical idea of the female body through this beautiful intricate composition. The woman who is supposed to cover her body lives in freedom when she is alone, and she has all the right to beautify her body with ornaments and even a single piece of cloth. Not a mere object of sexual desire, but she is above the beauty and charm that one man can't think of.
A woman with her wet saree draped around her sits and washes her delicate feet in the ghats of water. Hemen Majumdar portrays females' domestic and toiletry scenes through his naturalistic art composition. Here, in her wet clothes, her skin flesh is visible, just like when you get out of a shower and drape yourself around a cotton cloth. I guess her eyes and face witness the pressure of society to be her in her best form. The woman is the creation of god whose body, no matter how many scars it has, the inside beauty can never be matched and compared. Her back skin stuck to the cloth and gripped firmly showcases her courage in any strenuous situation. Water portrays the adjusting behaviour of a woman in any circumstance. She can be gentle like ice and powerful like waves to extinguish the burning flames. Purity is never in clothes but in someone's eyes and thoughts. The enhanced skin in semi-transparent cloth with soft skin quality is the artist's genre.
5. The Blue Sari.
The naturalistic art painting by Hemen Majumdar portrays a woman with her back, draped in a saree and a blouse, shown in a dance mudra. Maybe the woman subject is his wife, but the close identification can not be veiled. The light-skinned elite female is on her joy, but the composition captures her sexual appeal through her curves and her semi-transparent saree. Walking on the roads of dark forests and struggling throughout her life, she grasps the sufferings so that her husband, children and family live happily. The perfect hair covered with the saree armlets, earrings and jewellery appeal to most of the viewers. On her blouse, there is a lotus which portrays her purity and her connectivity to Mahalaxmi. The composition has no vulgarity or erotic but purity inside the woman's world without men!
6. Country Flower.
Expressions reveal more than actions, and that's what we know about this composition by Hemen Majumdar. The lady with a white saree draped have the slightest vision of her lover while she put a red flower on behind her ears. The flower, assumedly rose, shows the kind of love for our partner that has sweet pain, indeed but is fragrant enough to keep us alive. The sharp eyes and her elegant move while holding the end of the saree from her other end is just feminine beauty. The bird on her waist justifies her love for liberty that a woman never gets for herself. Her bangles and neck chain are again the noteworthy elements of her ageless beauty.
7. Lady With A Fruit Basket.
The composition by Majumdar portrays a woman in her saree ruffled towards the middle section of her chest. She carries some fruits in a basket over her head. Her gold jewellery looks fantastically beautiful because her body belongs to this beauty. Her exact figure with a timeless expression witnessed confusion among the viewers about whether she wanted to convey something from the painting. The bright colour composition is appreciative and compliments her charm.
8. Untitled By Hemen Majumdar.
The extraordinary painting showcases the obsession of Hemen with the woman and their domestic scenes. The female carries a pot around her waist, wrapping its body and covering herself in a wet saree. Her back body is visible clearly, and even the slightest curves of her feminine body appreciate the painting. Her long hair in the darkness of forests, pure eyes and smooth flesh exemplifies the artist's work.
9. Untitled By Hemen Majumdar.
The painting by a nude artist is not just another display of a woman's body nakedly but a reflection of her internal life and feelings. Her long hair on her side can make her more attractive. The naked side body of her shows her firm smooth breasts and curvy hips that shines more in the sunlight. The lotus leaves in water and the forests showcase the purity and divinity of her character, not mere with a body but by her inner beauty. Her wet hair with an earring and less ornamentation complement her bath look.
Hemen Majumdar is no less than a masterpiece in displaying the slenderness of a female body attached to a domestic meaning. The soft lines and elegant volumes of a female body give the transitions and perplexions of a woman's life. The nude artist is gifted in displaying the sensualities of a female body with his wet saree effect, constructing a clear and beautiful image of a woman through her body.
Which of Hemen Majumdar's art inspired you, or you are obsessed with it? Let us know in the comments!
Frequently Asked Questions.
Who was Hemen Majumdar?
Hemen Majumdar, full name Hemendranath Majumdar was a modern Indian painter who gained importance for his artworks that used western art style and portrayed the Domestic lives of India, with mostly women as subjects.
What type of art did Hemen Mazumdar paint?
A majority of Hemen Mazumdar's artworks are female portraits that exhibit them participating in domestic chores, as well as his exclusive drapery effect.
Who stole Hemen Majumdar's artwork?
Hemen Majumdar's artwork, Memory, was stolen from Kalyan Chowdhury's ancestral home in Bhanderhati in December 2000. It then resurfaced at Bowrings fine art auctioneers, causing Prakash Kejriwal, owner of Chitrakoot Gallery in Kolkata, to be arrested.