One of the greatest artistic contributions to the Indian freedom-movement came from Nandalal Bose. In 1938, for the annual session of the Indian National Congress in Haripura (a village in Gujarat), Mahatama Gandhi called upon Nandalal Bose for the decor. The creative brief required Bose to create something that would be reflect the local aesthetics and resonate with the idea of India.
As part of the conference, Nandalal Bose created posters – made on handmade paper using natural pigments, depicting subjects like Hunters, Musicians, Bull Handlers, Carpenter, Smiths, Spinner, Husking women and modest scenes of rural life including animal rearing, child-nursing and cooking. The posters played a prominent role in the conference, and came to be known as the Haripura Posters.
There are ten pairs of Haripura Posters in the tiles below. Tap the yellow tiles to reveal an artwork and find its matching pair! How many can you reveal in under 2 minutes?
When you’ve finished playing, don’t forget to share your game-time with us on social media [@theheritagelab] or in the comments!
In this game, you saw Haripura Posters featuring:
A woman milking a cow; A potter; Jain warrior with a sword; A tailor; A Camel; Pith worker; A woman cutting vegetables; A woman playing Veena; Mother feeding her child and A woman cooking. All the paintings are from the collection of National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.
Nandalal Bose & the story of the Haripura Posters
Nandalal Bose, popularly known as Master Moshai, was the Principal of Shantiniketan’s Kala Bhavan at the time and had been recognised internationally for his work. Before executing the paintings, he visited Vithalnagar (a small settlement near Haripura) and spent many weeks observing local life and village culture, sketching them on postcards. In his sketches, Bose rendered subtle yet meticulous line drawings, serene landscapes and the locals of the village, busy in their daily chores.
Nandalal Bose painted 84 such posters, and more were painted by his students under supervision. The iconic posters travelled to Venice for the Art Biennale in 2019 as part of the India Pavilion.
In addition to the paintings, Bose chose the rural structures and huts as models for display. The conference gates, halls and welcome arches, were all made out of local materials : earthen pots & vessels, tassels of paddy grass hung in rows, baskets and cane work made by the local craftspeople lent the session an elegant, rustic touch. The rural ambience merged with the landscape and the village scene stood out grand and lofty.