Famous Painters of India

To truly understand art, is to feel both the art and the artist’s mind. How does the mind of an artist work, you might think? It is indeed a mystery, a beautiful mystery unveiling many other things. But one thing to point out is that every artist has an inspiration, someone or something that awakens them to pour out their heart on the blank canvas of endless perspectives. Changing the stereotypical perspectives is what Indian art is all about; it is beyond everything you could ever imagine. To understand such kind of art would be just as going through the very emotions of the artist. From religious scriptures in portrayal to compositions showing the dire fight for freedom, Indian artists have captured it all. From jumping out of happiness to breaking down in tears, from getting a fit of rage to crawling down into helplessness, all these emotions you definitely will understand from these paintings. Moreover, Indian paintings speak out clearly and loudly of intelligence. The knowledge one imparts from these painting are boundless; flowing like that of honey swiftly rushing out of its comb; precious as it is.

Here are six of the most famous Indian who changed the entire approach to the world of paintings.


(17th September 1915- 9th June 2011)

Maqbool Fida Husain was one of India’s prized possessions and his paintings have captured all his endowments and it speaks much more than colours. He is one of the internationally most celebrated artists of all time. Proudly called as the Pablo Picasso of India and the Master of Modern Paintings, M.F.Husain is one of the first painters to depict his work in a modified style, in other words; he adopted cubism. He is often known for presenting his paintings in a bold and narrative style, each painting having a deep meaning of its own. He had conceived approximately 60,000 paintings his whole life and none let down anyone.

MF Husain

M.F.Husain started this remarkable journey by designing, painting colours and bringing out life in movie posters, billboards. It was much later that he started out trying out of the box, by starting to normalize modern techniques. He was proficiently known for bringing out the cubism style of art of Indian subject matters. M.F.Husain horse paintings are best known for as well. His solace mostly relied upon compositions of mares, goddesses and significantly more. The awards that M.F.Husain have received must be likewise recognized and praised as he has contributed much more than he could ever imagine in the art industry of India, let alone the world. From Padma Shri to Padma Vibhushan and from Padma Bushan to National Film Award for Best Experimental Film, he has rightfully earned much more.

Explore a complete collection of MF Husain here


( Born 15th Feb 1939 )

The recipient of Kalidas Samman by the government of Madhya Pradesh, the Banga Bibhushan award by the government of West Bengal; Jogen Chowdhury is one of the most influential artists of the 21st century especially for young and budding artists. He is also known for his sterling writings on art. ‘Art of Bengal: Past and Present’ is one book that has highlighted Bengali lifestyle and its close relation with art & culture.

He mostly used watercolours, pastels and ink in his artworks. He completed his education at the government college of Art & Craft, Kolkata and then in Paris at École Nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1967. After his dwelt in Paris in the field of art, he came back in a medium of his own twist and turns. Jogen Chowdhury created a style that was unique in every aspect. Jogen Chowdhury mostly saw a need of marrying traditional and contemporary to create beautiful pieces and this was what attracted dwellers to see his works.


(born 1942)

Unlike other modernists, Thota Vaikuntam really created a unique name for himself. Rather than focusing on modern techniques, he concentrated on conventional methods.

A recipient of a plethora of awards, he picturized simple and everyday happenings, of villagers, their daily activities, temple and its rituals and much more; the typical Indian life. This gave him a sense of joy and peace within himself, this made him more relatable to the old and village sided life. He mostly depended on pencil and charcoal as a medium to pour his mind. Vaikuntam’s work captivates your eye with its bright colours. His strokes are strong, controlled and angular that gives his work a contemporary feel even though the subjects are very traditional. The Telangana Today, one of the leading newspapers very well accounted for declaring as Culture being Thota Vaikuntam’s favourite theme.


(11th April 1887- 24th April 1972)

This Padma Bhushan holder is best known for combining and bringing in an interconnectedness of both modern and traditional techniques and creating intricate paintings.

Famous painters of India - Jamini Roy

He was one of the students who studied under Abanindranath Tagore at the age of 16. At first, he tried his way through traditional methods of art which were mainly traditional Bengali artworks. It was later on that he experimented with amalgamating both western and Indian styles together and this worked out very well for him. Jamini Roy individualized a style of his own known as the flat technique which was a combination of simple lines and colours.


(born 1937)

artist Lalu Prasad Shaw

Lalu prasad shaw is India's most admired & distinguished artist. Lalu belongs to the generation of Indian artists which emerged in the sixties in the post-war socio-cultural and political background and which had firm moorings in the native soil. Lalu became a member of the Society of Contemporary Artists in 1967. He has exhibited extensively in India and abroad since 1956.

He is highly praised and looked upon for the beautiful and the complex ways he portrayed Bengali females and couples; the way he captured the physical attributes were all the rage. He always had the motto of presenting art in its truest form, however ugly or beautiful the truth might have been. ‘Art need not be realistic, but it must be truthful’, he always claimed. He always declared himself as a painter and not an artist, whatever caught his attention, he liked it spill on blank canvases whether it having a structure or not. He has received numerous awards; the National Award and the Birla Academy Award being a few.


(22nd February 1922- 23rd July 2016)

One of the most looked up modernists of India; Sayed Haider Raza’s collection of paintings says a lot about inimitable beauty and singularity. His years of experience in the field of art give us a clear picture of proficiency in abstractionism in his paintings.

SH Raza
SH Raza with his painting

His view in colours was that each and every colour has an allegorical meaning to itself; allegorical with spiritual explanations. S.H.Raza channelized his works into the ‘Bindu’ which led him to a rebirth as a painter. His style of painting dealt with giving importance to every colour that he applied onto the big stretch of blank canvases. Though his style changed drastically over the course of his career, Raza’s works were all united in their emphasis on colour, and their references to memory and mood. Raza was also responsible for founding the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group (PAG) with Krishna Hawlaji Ara and Francis Newton Souza, with the purpose of turning away from the European realist styles taught in Indian art schools, and establishing a modernist vocabulary relevant to India. He is the prestigious holder of Padma Vibushan, Padma Bhushan, the Kalidas Samma for Plastic arts and many more.

SH Raza Painting
SH Raza Painting

Article By: ​Aanice Tressa Thomas

Aanice is presently pursuing her second year in BBA LLB from Symbiosis University. Apart from law, she has an ardent desire when it comes to the field of art and wishes to convey it to people around the world through the way of writing.

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