Life of S.Haldankar
Sawlaram Haldankar was born in 1882 in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra.
Although he had no formal education in art painting, he showed exceptional skills in art painting. During those childhood days, his father was his mentor and teacher in art painting.
After completing high school, he went on to join the most prestigious art school in India, the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai. There, he learned more about art and art painting from other famous artists like Cecil Burns and M.V. Dhurandhar.
At the time when Sawlaram Haldankar was a student at J.J.School of Arts, he started exhibiting his artworks in different art galleries around Mumbai. In following years, he won prizes at different exhibitions at Madras, Shimla etc. He even won a prize at an exhibition held at the prestigious Royal Society of British Artists, London.
After coming out of the art school, S.L Haldankar spent some of his years teaching about painting at J.J. school of art.
The Royal Society of British Artists, London also awarded Sawlaram Haldankar with two commendation certificates. He also won the prestigious Governor’s prize in his later life.
The biggest recognition for this artist came in the form of Lalit Kala Academy Fellowship award, which was awarded to Sawlaram Haldankar by the then President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
By 1908, he had become one of the noted artists in British India. He took part in many exhibitions and had already won many awards and recognitions. In 1908, Sawlaram Haldankar started his own art institute, Haldankar Art Institute, in Mumbai. Ten years later, in 1918, Sawlaram Haldankar, along with some of his friends in the art industry like M.K.Parandekar, B.V.Talim etc, found the Art Society of India.
Sawlaram Haldankar died at the age of 86, in the year 1968.
Where we can see his paintings?
Sawlaram Haldankar was an artist who always experimented with his paintings. As a result, there are quite a number of paintings that are incomplete or unsigned, which are attributed to him. If you want to have a look at some of his finished artworks, most of his paintings are on display at Delhi Art Gallery, Nagpur Museum and the Prince of Wales Museum at Mumbai. However, some of his incomplete or unsigned artworks are on display at different art galleries including the JagmohanPalace, Mysore.
Wrong Attributions with Raja Ravi Varma
Sawlaram Haldankar is sometimes attributed as one of the best portrait artists India has ever seen. This has sometimes led to the comparison of his artworks with that of Raja Ravi Varma’s. These comparisons, sometimes have led to wrong attribution of S.L Haldankar works.
‘The Glow of Hope’ is an example. The same painting is often attributed as Ravi Varma’s ‘Lady with the Lamp’. The reason for this anomaly could be the similarities in the style of painting of both the artists. The fact that ‘Glow of Hope’ is on display at the JagmohanPalace in Mysore, close to the paintings of Ravi Varma could be another reason.
There is an Italian encyclopedia, which ranks Sawlaram Haldankar as one of the three finest watercolour artists in the world.
It’s no doubt that he is one of the masters of Indian art. Although he created countless number of art paintings using different mediums, his watercolour and oil paintings are the more famous ones.
So which is your favourite painting of Sawlaram Haldankar? Do you think he is one of the best water-colorists in the world? Are there any other watercolour artists you think, is better than Haldankar? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in comments.