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Paritosh Sen (1918–2008) towered above many of his contemporaries in the rare quality of his creative personality—unwithered by age and exuding an aura and charisma that are the sterling gifts of his experience. This quality came most naturally to nestle in him through all the splendours of his decades-long experience as a painter, writer and a perceptive and sensitive participant in the social and culture milieu of his time. These facets of his personality can be glimpsed in the assemblage of Sen’s oeuvre—his first retrospective—with a selection of works covering more than 60 years of his creative life, beginning at the end of the 1930s, when the Bengal School movement still retained much of its hold over the Indian art scene.
Sen’s spirit of experimentation and adventure had taken him far and wide. Throughout his oeuvre a touch of humour is almost always present, as is a measure of pain. He was also a major author in Bengali, acclaimed for his highly individualistic and metallic prose. Published in association with Tulsyan Technologies Limited when Sen was 83 years old, this retrospective of the painter’s works is rare documentation on one of India’s best known voices on art.
Mansij Majumdar taught English in a college under Calcutta University as a reader and writes on art and literature in Bengali and English. Ella Datta, journalist and senior consultant editor for The Telegraph, has authored many articles on art and culture and books on artists. Dr Kunal Chakravarty is currently Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.