Sunayani Devi stands out not because of her degree of conformity to male peers but because of her distinct pursuit of a personal vision. Although Abanindranath Tagore and the Bengal School would have been influential, her concerns were more mythic than historicist. In addition, she was inspired by the folk pata painting style, familiar to the women in the Tagore household. Her subjects include women at their toilet, dolls, players, actors and themes from the mythic Radha-Krishna cycle. A precursor of folk art in the fine art tradition, she anticipated the more full-blown realisation of Jamini Roy (1887-1972). She also introduced a more margi, or heterodox element in an art practice that was seeking a more exclusive identity. Excerpt from Local/Global: Women Artists in the Nineteenth Century (Chapter on India by Gayatri Sinha).
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