Narsimha Chintaman Kelkar (1872-1947)
President of the Hindu Mahasabha
by Ramkrishna Waman Deuskar (1869-1957)
Oil on canvas
27 x 21 in. (68.5 x 53.5 cm.)
Ramkrishna Waman Deuskar, student of the Sir J. J. School of Art – Bombay was considered to be the pioneer of Modern painting in Hyderabad. His career started with painting backdrops for Marathi drama companies. He also was proficient in plastic arts in Europe and produced excellent portraits of aristocracy in and around the Deccan region. His acquaintance with Salar Jung-III, gave him the opportunity to become the first curator of The Salar Jung Museum. He also made innumerable recopies of European great masters and contributed to the painting section of the museum. Due to the popularity of painting portraiture being in vogue in the aristocratic circle, Deuskar was invited to paint for the Nizams. He was the last court artist employed in India.
The portrait is of a lawyer from Satara – Chintaman Kelkar, also known as Sahityasamrat Tatyasaheb Kelkar due to his literary pursuits. He was a strong political persona and also associated with the education society in Pune. He became famous due to his close association with Bal Gangadhar Tilak during the Indian Independence movement. After Tilak’s death he also represented the Tilakites in the Congress. He retired from public life at the of 65 and devoted his time to writing till his death.