Tuesday 6 February 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 29

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Nivedita on Art - 2

At that time, every one believed in the Greek influence on Indian art and gave all importance to it. It was Nivedita who disproved this and opened the eyes of the artists to the real facts. She impressed even Havell to understand the Indian viewpoint in art and architecture. She made the artists to realize the truth of the ideals of Indian arts and its originality.

Directly, and at times indirectly, Nivedita made Havell, Abanindranath and Coomaraswamy understand her special vision of Indian aesthetics and the philosophy of art, which she had received from her Guru. She did not stop there. She always inspired and guided the talented students of the Calcutta Art School to move along the forgotten tracks of ancient Indian art. Nandalal Bose, Asit Kumar Haldar and Surendranath Gangopadhyaya were among them.

The Bengal School of Art, which began its movement in the first part of the twentieth century, in no time, snowballed to take the shape of an all-India art movement. The movement was initiated by Havell, Abanindranath and Coomaraswamy, whereas Nivedita remained the vibrant centre of this art movement faithful to Indian national traditions. Nivedita had learned from Vivekananda the inmost and intricate specialties of Indian art. Indian artists and art critics of the time were hardly aware of those specialties and Nivedita wanted to make them so.

The artist Nandalal Bose was then a student of the Art School. One day he and another promising student of the school. Surendranath Gangopadhyaya, went to meet Nivedita at her Bosepara Lane residence. They took their seat on the sofa in the drawing room. A carpet was laid on the floor. Nivedita asked them to sit on the floor. They did take their seats on the floor but were offended, as they thought that the European woman had insulted them by advising so. However, how wrong they were, they realized a little after. Nivedita looked at them intently for a while, then said: 'You belong to the land of the Buddha. I do not feel happy to see you seated on a sofa. Now as you sit like Buddha. I find it so good to look at you.' Then in her happy mood, she called Sister Christine and introduced her to them, and then they discussed pictures and drawings.

 To be Continued

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