Mahadev Vishwanath Dhurandhar
(1867 - 1944)
Born in 1867, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, M.V. Dhurandhar studied under John Griffiths at the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai. He was exposed to the works of the European and British artists since the entire faculty at the school was from Britain. Unlike Eastern cultures, where art was oriented towards line drawing, in the West it was pictorial heavy. Fascinated by this form of art, Indian students too began emulating the European Academic Art form. His famous painting, 'Women At Work', got him a British Government Award in 1892, while still a student. Yet another black and white illustration, 'Marriage Ceremony' won him a gold medal in 1908. In 1896, Dhurandhar was invited by the Sir J. J. School of Art to join the institute as a teacher. In 1910, he was appointed the Principal, and in 1930, became the first Indian to be appointed director of the Art School. His works became popular among the classes and the masses. His works include more than 5,000 paintings and 50,000 illustrations. He won more than five gold medals and several silver ones during his lifetime. But by 1931, he sought retirement, three years after he was awarded the title of Rao Bahadur by the British government. One of his paintings still hangs at the Buckingham Palace, and another one is in the South Kensington Museum. Royal family palaces and maharaja retreats across India still own several of his works. He has exhibited widely all over India. His popular works include documenting the city of Bombay and its people, as well as painting scenes from Hindu mythology and Omar Khayyam series. He was also the first Indian to be awarded the Gold Medal by Bombay Art Society. M.V. Dhurandhar died in 1944.