Gandhiji and Nandalal Bose were
great friends. To this day there is a painting drawn by Nandalal Bose on a wall in
Gandhiji's Ashram in Sevagram. The painting shows Buddha carrying a lamb, which was chosen
to be sacrificed at Bimbasara's yajna, and which he saved.
Once Gandhiji asked Bose to draw the portrait of Saint Tukaram. Bose did the portrait
and it pleased Gandhiji very much. Nandalal painted a number of scenes connected with
Gandhiji's life. He painted one about the historic Dandi March. (In 1931 Gandhiji walked
for 21 days to a place called Dandi to break the British law by making salt from sea
water.) When Gandhiji visited Santiniketan, he painted his famous pictures, 'Gandhiji at
the Prayer meeting', 'and Christ Carrying the Cross' and 'Sree Durga'.
One day Gandhiji went with Bose for a walk on the Tital beach. Something interesting
Nandalal had left his shoes on the beach. Gandhiji stood nearby keeping watch. When
Nandalal came out of water he felt embarrassed and decided to give up wearing shoes.
Another incident. Once Nandalal did not have colors to paint. And they could not be got
anywhere nearby. Then Gandhiji said, "Use the earth here." Nandalal used earth
of different colors and painted a number of post cards.
Gandhiji invited Bose to decorate the special structures put up for the Congress
sessions at Faizpur, Lucknow and Haripur.
For the Haripur session, Nandalal and his friends drew 83 pictures depicting the life
of the people. In preparation for this he visited villages nearby to acquaint himself with
the life of the people.
Nandalal used a variety of subjects and materials for his paintings. His imagination
could deal with material drawn from the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha, Sanskrit poems, the
Puranas, from the lives of Buddha, Christ and Gandhiji and from Nature, and human life. He
used different kinds of paper, cotton and silk canvasses. He used a 'variety of colors.
Sometimes instead of brush he used rags. His paintings were of various sizes.