Born in 1887 in a small village in Beliatore, Bankura district, West Bengal, Jamini Roy joined the Government School of Art, Kolkata in 1903.
He began his career by painting in the Post-Impressionist genre of landscapes and portraits, very much in keeping with his training in a British academic system. By 1925, Roy had begun experimenting along the lines of popular bazaar paintings sold outside the Kalighat temple in Kolkata. By the early 1930s, Roy made a complete switch to indigenous materials to paint on woven mats, cloth and wood coated with lime. The inspiration for painting on woven mats was the textures he found in Byzantine art, which he had seen in colour photographs. It occurred to him that painting on a woven mat might make for an interesting mosaic-like surface.
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