Jamini Roy was born in 1887 in a small village in Beliatore, Bankura district of West Bengal. He joined the Government School of Art, Kolkata in 1903. He began his career by painting in the post impressionistic genre of landscapes and portraits. But after mastering these genres, he drifted towards folk art to find his roots with folk inspired paintings in order to evolve a distinct style of his own. And Jamini Roy’s distinct style indeed became a string socio-cultural and political statement as it became symbolic of a culture trying to find inspiration in its own roots and rich artistic tradition rather than looking towards the west for inspiration.
Infact, his rejection of the then ‘modern’ style of painting and his foray into the realm of Bengali folk paintings marked a new beginning in the history of Indian art. Jamini Roy had always tried to preserve certain basic forms, colour and patterns. His subjects are taken from the people around him; the village folk in particular such as the Bauls, Bauris, Santhals or Mallas appear very often. He attempts to shed the non- essentials in his search for certain universal elements and reaches a stage where his figures, shorn of frills and decorations, attain a frieze- like architectonic qualitiy.