An exhibition of watercolour paintings by celebrated Indian landscape painter Prof. Pralhad Anant Dhond was inaugurated by Raj Thackeray, a renowned cartoonist and the chief Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, by lighting of lamp at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
Along with Kedar Kamat, the grandson of Prof Dhond, prominent personalities like Prabhakar Kolte, a well-known artist and a former dean of JJ School of Arts Krishna Kamat, former dean of JJ School of Arts; Vasant Sonawani, former dean of JJ School of Arts & other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
A souvenir ‘Dhawal Resha’ – based on the life of Dhond Sir – was also released at the hands of these people. Several students of Prof Dhond and other distinguished personalities have expressed their affection towards him by writing articles and remembering their memories about him in the souvenir.
Speaking on the occasion, Prabhakar Kolte read out a poem written by him on Prof Dhond and also recalled his memories. Vasant Sonawani said Prof Dhond was a good mimicry artist and also had a mischievous attitude. With his passion, he invigorated the entire campus of JJ School of Arts. Prof Dhond was known by three names – Babu, Dhond Sir and Bhai. He had an ever-smiling personality. I have never seen a tutor, who loved his students so much, he said.
Raj Thackeray also expressed his affection about Prof Dhond by recalling his memories. “I have not come here as a leader of any political party, but for the love and respect I have for Dhond Sir. Till I lived in Kala Nagar, Bhai’s house was like a second home for me. It was my privilege to see him drawing a picture. Within minutes, he used to finish his painting. He was an expert in drawing white lines, which is not an easy task. It takes lot of efforts to master the art of drawing white lines. I will never forget the love bestowed upon me by the Dhond family,” he said.
The exhibition contains 111 paintings of Prof Dhond to commemorate his 111th birth anniversary, said Kedar Kamat. The exhibition will be open for all from June 11 to June 17 from 11 am to 7 pm.
Kamat said, “The exhibition is our small attempt to revive the art of watercolour landscape, which is on the verge of getting extinct. It has been organized with an aim to inspire today's generation with Dhond Sir’s paintings. He devoted nearly 70 years of his life for the art. He remained a prolific painter even at the age of 92.”
Prof. P. A. Dhond was born in 1908 in Ratnagiri. He completed a diploma in Arts in 1934 and then did his Art Master’s in 1937, standing first in order of Merit. He also worked as the dean of Sir J. J. School of Art from 1958 to 1968 and then as the Director of Art, Maharashtra State, from 1968 to 1969. His autobiographical book ‘Raapan’ received a State Government’s award and was also acclaimed by critics in newspapers and readers. Due to his impressive coating style of water colours and unique handling of landscapes, he is considered as one of India’s celebrated landscape painters. His exceptional paintings have been archived at various art galleries, museums and universities in India. In addition to this, his paintings are also in collection of well-known institutes of several countries in Germany, USA, South Africa, East Africa, Russia etc; eminent celebrities and art lovers in various fields.