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S.G. THAKAR SINGH (1904 - 1976)
S.G.Thakar Singh
S.G.Thakar Singh
Click to enlarge

S.G.Thakar Singh was born in the village of Verka near Amritsar in 1904. Though his elders chose engineering as a career for him, he preferred to forego it to pursue art. His inborn aptitude for drawing was recognized by a local Muslim painter, Mohammad Alam, who encouraged his talent. Under his tutorship, Thakar Singh's artistic genius matured. He accompanied his master to Bombay and then to Calcutta where he spent seventeen years of his life. Those years were memorable for the prolific work he produced.

S.G.Thakar Singh S.G.Thakar Singh
Evening in Kullu Valley,
Oil colour on canvas, 1961
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In the valley of Gods,
Oil colour on canvas, 1960
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The turning point of his life was when he won a prize for his painting "After the Bath" in the British Empire Exhibition held at London in 1924.

He had a preference in themes for historical sites, monuments, formal portraits of dignitaries and landscapes. His landscapes show a patient study of locales and men. They display a sensitive and yet unobtrusive compositions of life. "Moonrise" and " Temple in the Mist" show an exquisite study of play of light.

S.G.Thakar Singh S.G.Thakar Singh
Morning Dip,
Oil colour on canvas, 1966
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After Bath,
Oil colour on canvas, 1968
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Belonging to school of academic realism, the strength of his art lies in the unsophisticated delight he takes in the beauty of external world and a respect for metier and craftsmanship. "After the Bath " and "Before the Mirror" are fine examples of technical virtuosity. He has caught the colourful pageant of Indian life in study of pilgrims, fishermen and wandering minstrel. His portraits, temples and palaces have been received favourably by art lovers and connoisseurs.

In recognition of his contribution to art, he was elected President of Indian Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar. Under his brilliant guidance, the society grew in stature and contributed immensely in popularizing art in the state of Punjab. In 1973, the President of India decorated S.G. Thakar Singh with award of Padam Shri. The President's residence has given a place of honour to his impressive painting depicting the assumption of office by first Indian Governor General Sri C Rajagopalachari.

His works have enduring qualities and have established an immediate rapport between the artist and public. Therein lies the uniqueness of his art - the appeal of the paintings to a national sensibility strongly conditioned to realism.

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