Currently out of stock. Special Centenary Edition forthcoming in February 2024.
I am describing here only that part of my life that I have known well. And having spent all my life painting, I confess that I am trying my hand at writing rather late in life. Each man’s experience of life is quite unique. But still, men do have certain common experiences through which they understand each other. But it has fallen to me to have a kind of experience that is not easily comparable to anyone else’s. A passage from the world of light to the world of darkness opened a new chapter in my life. The story of this experience is the main burden of this book.
Benodebehari Mukherjee (1904–1980) was one of the most influential and highly regarded artists in the history of modern Indian art. Chitrakar brings together four broadly autobiographical pieces written by Benodebehari after he lost his eyesight in the summer of 1957. ‘The Artist’ is a selective reminiscence recapturing various pictures from the years of his childhood, apprenticeship and maturity, up to the time he became blind. ‘Master of the Household’ is a candid and complex fictionalized account of his struggle to come to terms with his blindness and continue to be creative. ‘The Creator’ is a simple, though telling, parable on the vanity of inordinate ambition. And ‘Art Quest’ is an informal causerie that outlines his vision on art, its basic elements and their differences in range and reference.
In the sensitive and empathetic hands of K. G. Subramanyan, once his student and later himself a major figure in the Indian art scene, this translation, appearing for the first time in English, is a precious and timeless document.