I am sure some of you would have heard of Jamini Roy??? He was a famous Bengali painter...here is a little about him:
Born in 1887 in an obscure Bengali village of the Bankura district in West Bengal, an area especially rich with a folk art tradition, Jamini Roy arrived in Calcutta in 1903 to enroll in the Govt. School of Art. He was the most famous pupil of Abanindranath Tagore, whose contribution to the emergence of modern art in India remains unquestionable. Jamini's presentation of Santhal drummers, toiling blacksmith, Krishna-Balaram and women figures like Radhas, Gopi's, Pujarinis and Virgin and Child became very popular during the 1940s and his collectors included the middle-class Bengalis as well as the European community. His work was exhibited in London in 1946 and in New York in 1953. He was honored with the State award of Padma Bhushan in 1955. He died a much celebrated and revolutionary artist, at the age of 85, in Calcutta in 1972.
And here are some of his paintings (bear with me, I am not just rambling, this IS leading up to something.....)
OK, so where am I going with all this? Well, about 30 years ago, my uncle who lived in Delhi and was quite an influential person with GAIL (Gas Authority of India, Ltd) gave me 2 prints of paintings by Jamini Roy, that someone had given him (For those who read this post earlier I erred in saying JR himself had given them to him...not possible since 30 years ago would be 1980, and JR passed away in 1972....sorry, big OOPS!). So anyways, I took them and put them away and forgot all about them. They travelled with me from Hyderabad to the US in 1984 and back to Hyderabad again in 2006, all the while rolled up and stashed away in some corner. TILL last week...I came across them while cleaning out my closet and looked at them and thought...hmmmm...they aren't so bad, maybe I'll get them framed???? So I took them to my trusted framer guy - who knows everything about all the painters in India - and told him to frame them with the cheapest nice looking frame he had...cos they were just prints and I didn't want to spend too much on them. WELL....to my utter amazement, he looked at them and then at me, then at the paintings again, and then again at me and said "Madam, these are originals"!!!!!!. I almost fell over in shock!!! I asked him again if he knew what he was talking about and again he confirmed they were and then he showed me a small water spot....like paint had fallen on it while the painter was painting it. Can you believe it? He said they were worth at least Rs 50,000 each, maybe more because Jamini Roy is no longer alive. So of course, I had them framed the best way possible.....here then are the two paintings:
Now when my uncle reads this and asks for them back, what shall I say? :-)