Sunayani Devi was a pioneering woman artist in modern India. She was on 18/06/1875 in Calcutta, West Bengal. Married to the grand son of Raja Ram Mohan Roy at the age of 11. Her famous brothers Abanindranath, Gaganendranath and Samarendranath, inspired her to take up painting. Started painting at the age of 30. She took inspiration from Indian epics and mythologies. The theme of her paintings revolved around the characters of Krishna Lila, Ramayana, Mahabharata etc., and her style was highly influenced by Bengal Pata paintings. Established an art school called Kala Bharati, Calcutta. Sunayani Devi’s naive and primitive art represented a spontaneous and deeply personal practice, at a time when patriarchal mores dictated women to be confined within domesticity, and by dint of this, her art came to be seen from an anti-colonial frame. Shadowed by the legacy of the Tagore family, she was a pioneering woman artist in modern India. Sunayani Devi died on 23/02/1962.
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- 1908, 10, 12 Exhb., Indian Society of Oriental Art, Calcutta.
- 1911 United Provinces Exhb. organised by Indian Society of Oriental Art, Allahabad.
- 1911 Festival of Empire, organised by Indian Society of Oriental Art for George V?s Coronation Crystal Palace, London.
- 1924 Travelling exhb. organised by Indian Society of Oriental Art and American Federation of Art, USA.
- 2004 Manifestations II, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi.
- The National Art Gallery, Chennai.
- Sri Chitra Art Gallery, Thiruvananthapuram.
- Jaganmohan Palace, Mysore.
- Lucknow University, Lucknow.
- Rabindra Bharati University Museum, Kolkata.
- Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata.