Naggar: Such is the mysticism of this little hamlet perched on the slopes of the mighty Himalayas in Kullu valley that artists find it almost irresistible not to be drawn by its beauty. After Nicholas Roerich came all the way from Russia to make Naggar his home almost a century ago, painters from all over the world have been exploring the vastness of the Himalayas from here, each adding to complete the landscape. Veteran artist Sambhajirao K Shinde is one of them, perhaps among the few who almost made Naggar their permanent home. An exhibition of his paintings, titled ‘Devbhoomi’, at the Modern Art Exhibition Hall of the International Roerich Memorial Trust, from September 28 to October 5, is reflection of his relationship with the place, depicting the endless shades and moods of the Himalayas.
Shinde was first enchanted by the mountains ranges in 1978 when he visited Kashmir, and in 1984 he made Naggar his second home to explore the inner Himalayas.
Over his long association with the place, Shinde has exemplified the mountains in his painting that have come to depict their relationship with the human mind. Highly inspired by Roerich’s vision, this particular exhibition of his landscapes is, in fact, a tribute to the great master and an expression of gratitude towards the simple and loving people of Naggar, who have, over the last 24 years, become a part of the veteran artist’s life. The legacy and the beauty of Naggar is a pilgrimage to him, very much depicted in his landscapes.
Shinde is unique in the sense that he mostly paints space – landscapes. Mountains, hills, the sky and clouds are his main subjects. There are gorgeous and majestic mountains and vast fields in his painting. He sees mountains, their bath in sunshine and paints them in Gouache. For him everything in life, including the mundane people, is dwarfed by the high-rise mountains. Human beings do appear sometimes in his landscape, but very rarely.
Born on 7th of September, 1932, Shinde is an artist who is not only rich in experience but also has mastered several generes of art. He learnt painting from the old master DD Deolalikar of Madhya Pradesh. After having completed his diploma course from Sir J.J. School of Arts Bombay, he also learnt the techniques of Fresco painting and mural art and mastered those.
Shinde has won several awards and has had numerous exhibitions since 1961. He was thrice awarded at the All India Kalidas Exhibition.