Wednesday, January 14, 2015



Ghulam Rasool santosh was not a Shaivite or Tantra theme painter alone. Not many of us know that he has done some superb portraits, Pencil and ink sketches and paintings in contemporary Art for which he received ample training from his Guru and teacher Prof N S Bendre at Baroda.

Initially Santosh started with painting contemporary and Modern Art but from 1964 onwards , he shifted to painting Kashmir Shaiv Darshana and Tantra themes . He arrived at a single clean representation of human form not explicitly male or female either ; Yes both inclusive that represented Shiva Shakti union . 

                                        (Santosh with Shanti Dave Baroda 1963 )

Mohan Ji Wattal ( Ex employee Grindlay’s Bank ) informed me in 2010 when I met him in Srinagar

“ Yes santosh ji would come to Swami Ji’s Ashram ( Swami Lakshman Joo the renowned Shaiva scholar from Kashmir ) sometime during summers . As a matter of fact Swami ji also loved him and always blessed him. He would be always seeking reply to his queries on Shaivism and Tantra from swami ji. One day I saw him asking some question about Sri Yantra which he sketched on a sheet of paper with a pen. He would relish Dalcheen Kahwa and kashmiri kulcha apart from his all time favourite green leafy Haak cooked in typical kashmiri Pandit style.”

 Swami vivek  ji of Vivekananda Ashram Nagdandi near Acchabal kashmir told me in 2009..

“ Santosh ji ( G R Santosh ) would come to this place . He would come with Ogra sahib . Ogra sahib was his special friend . Once santosh ji told me that after he went to Amarnath ji Yatra , everything in his Art changed and he moved towards Shaivism in his paintings. ”

  ( G R Santoh with his wife  Tosha ji ..Delhi  1972 ..Photo source . G R Hasrat Gadda  )

  ( G R Santosh in a Typical Kashmiri Pheran . 1978..Photo source . G R Hasrat Gadda )
  ( G R santosh and noted sitarist O P Sharma ..Photo source . G R Hasrat Gadda 

Many Prominent  Art  Galleries in India and some galleries outside the country  display his work.I can name some galleries like ..lalit kala Academy New Delhi, National gallery of Modern Art New Delhi, University Museum Chandigarh , Amar mahal Museum Jammu , Dhoomimal Art Centre New Delhi, Bombay Art Society Mumbai , Fukuda Museum of Art Japan, Glenbara art Museum , Peabody Essex Museum USA, Museum Of Modern Art New York ,Hotel Leela Kempinsky Mumbai ,Neville Tuli Art Archive Mumbai apart from other galleries and Museums in UK, Germany , France and Singapore .                    

                                  (  G R Santosh at Baroda ..1959 )        

                                  (  G R Santosh at Baroda ..1959 )                     

He was awarded   Padam Shri   in 1977. Lalit kala Academy National award in 1957, 1964 and 1973. AIFACS New Delhi Award in 1984.Sahitya academy award to his book Besukh Rooh in 1979.1991 Kala Ratna Awardby AIFACS. Artist of the year award in 1984 by Sahitya Kala Parishad AND sir cowasji Jehangir Award of Bombay Art Society went to Santosh ji in 1956.The list is endless.
                                                                                                          ( kashmiri Women G R Santosh 1960 )

 some  Paintings  of santosh done  in figurative style( before  his shift towards  Tantra and kashmir's shaiv Darshan themes ) are uploaded below .

 In Below uploaded painting , Two women sharing pain , sorrow , happiness or ecstasy .The headscarf , Apparel , the sleeper ( Khraav ) and a hand held samovar gives this great work a typical kashmiri Aura .

     Santosh's  below Painting is titled Khwaabgaah or "Dream chamber" and has been done in 1955 when he was at Baroda  .                                                                          

And the below uploaded two  paintings have been done in pure abstract style..


( Autar Mota )

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