Mohanlal Ganguly (1909-1969)
by Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951)
dated: 1st October, 1926
Pastel on board with oil
14.5 x 12 in. (36.8 x 30.4 cm.)
Mohanlal Ganguly was the grandson of Abanindranath Tagore. At a young age he went to London for higher studies, there he married a Czechoslovakian lady named Milada who he met in college. After his return to India he joined Bengal Chamber of Commerce and also became a member of Indian Statistical Institute. He wrote several books, the most famous amongst them is ‘Dakshiner Baranda’ based on his reminiscences of Jorasanko, Calcutta.
Abanindranath Tagore was born in 1871 at Jorasanko, Calcutta. He was the principal artist of the Bengal school and also a noted writer, popularly known as ‘Aban Thakur’. Tagore sought to modernize Moghul and Rajput styles in order to counter the influence of Western models of art, as taught in Art Schools under the British Raj. Such was the success of Tagore’s work that it was eventually accepted and promoted as a national Indian style within British art institutions. Tagore’s interest in portraits was more enduring, and it ran through his entire career, unabated and constantly revolving. His portraits are smaller in size and done in wash technique, felt more intimate in spirit. They represent not real people or real places but images born out of their impact on mind. He has made scores of portraits on men and women in his family, of his children and grandchildren, of his former students, their children, and friends.