Search giant Google rolled out an artsy surprise for Indian users by paying a tribute to “pioneering artist” Jamini Roy on his 130th birth anniversary with a beautiful horse doodle inspired by the master’s Black Horse painting.
It allowed users to take a tour of Roy’s artworks and collections on Google Arts & Culture. The virtual exhibit was curated by Google and the National Gallery of Modern Art.
Roy was among India’s leading modernists in the 20th century and a globally renowned figure too. Originally trained in the British academic style of painting, his earlier works had shades of European impressionism and portraiture.
But he shunned his Western training eventually and turned to India’s folk and tribal art forms in the wake of nationalist sentiments sweeping the country in the early 1920s.
He took to portray his own people — the men, women and children of Bengal (his native land and the bastion of India’s freedom movement) — and developed a distinctive style that was bold, vibrant and refreshing.
Roy believed that like Chinese landscapes, nonessential background details needed to be discarded. Hence, the subjects stood out beautifully in all his works.
Roy was awarded the Viceroy’s gold medal in 1934. By the 1950s, Roy’s work had been exhibited in London and New York. He also won India’s third-highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan, in 1954.
In the 1970s, the Ministry of Culture declared him one of the country’s “nine masters” whose artworks are considered national treasures.
Indians on social media were delighted with Google’s tribute to the legend.
Well done, Google!