An Artist’s Diary and Sketchbook

Somnath Hore

Translated by Somnath Zutshi


Seagull Books, 2009

Language: English

86 pages

Price INR 750.00

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In the winter of 1946, Somenath Hore, one of India’s major painter-sculptors, was assigned by the Communist Party of India to document the Tebhaga movement in North Bengal.

A young art student at the time, Hore witnessed the massive mobilization taking place in a network of villages, and captured the widespread spirit of peasant consciousness and militant solidarity, all the more remarkable at a time when communalism was rife in national politics.

Somnath Hore’s personal diary and sketches of the Tebhaga days are an unusual social document of a peasant movement seen through the eyes of a committed artist. Closely involved in the struggle, the Tebhaga experience remained a source of inspiration for him.

One can see in these sketches the rugged lines since transformed into sculptured forms, but charged with the same intensity of anguish and anger; and the seeds of the vision that infused his later work.

Somnath Hore

Somnath Hore (1921–2006) was a Bengali sculptor and printmaker. His sketches, sculptures and prints were a reaction to major historical crises and events of twentieth-century Bengal, such as the Bengal Famine of 1943 and the Tebhaga movement. Among the many honours he received are the Padma Bhushan (posthumously), the Aban–Gagan Purashkar and the Rabindra Bharati University Award. He lived and worked in Santiniketan until his death.

Somnath Zutshi

Somnath Zutshi was a psychoanalyst by training who studied and wrote on cinema. He translated works by Banaphool, Mrinal Sen, and Somnath Hore.