Provenance : Property from a corporate collection based in Delhi, originally from the collection of artist B.N Dasgupta, c.1970, thence by decence.
Height of the figure - 6ft
Asit Kumar Haldar was born in the year 1890 in Jorasanko. Rabindranath Tagore was his maternal
grandmother’s brother, while his grandfather Rakhaldas Haldar and his father Sukumar Haldar were
accomplished painters as well. He initiated his academics at the Government School of Art, Calcutta in
1904 when he was fourteen years old. He learned sculpting from famous Bengali artists such as Jadu Pal
and Bakkeswar Pal, as well as trained under Leonard Jennings.
Over a period of time he became an important assistant to Rabindranath Tagore and was also a
propagandist of the Bengal renaissance. From 1909 to 1911 he was stationed at Ajanta documenting the
paintings on the frescoes. This was a joint expedition that he undertook alongside with Lady
Herringham, the motive of the expedition being to expose cave art to a wider Indian audience. In 1921,
he undertook another expedition, this time to the Bagh Caves and his reflections on the art there
indicate quite a few surrealistic depictions.
Asit Kumar Haldar was an art teacher at Santiniketan, between the years 1911 – 1915 and was also
appointed as the principal of the Kala Bhavan School from 1911 to 1923. In 1923, he went on a study
tour through England, France and Germany. On his return, he became Principal of the Maharaja’s School
of Arts and Crafts, Jaipur following which he shifted to the Maharaja’s School of Arts and Crafts in
Asit Kumar Haldar was the first Indian to be appointed as the principal of a Government Art School, he
was also the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London in 1934. The
Allahabad Museum opened a large "Haldar Hall" with many of his works in 1938. The artist passed away
in the year 1964.