Under such a Guru, Bose grew
into a fine artist. Abanindranath was not just a teacher, he was a devoted artist. He was
a learner with the students. Bose absorbed this quality from Abanindranath.
The teacher showed keen interest in Bose's studies. In the early stages Harinarayan
Basu and Iswari Prasad guided him. Later on Abanindranath himself supervised his studies.
At that time, Bose was his only student. Later on he had many students. Among them was K.
Venkatappa from Karnataka, who earned much fame.
Bose spent five years as a disciple. He was given a monthly scholarship of Rs. 12.
Abanindranath's method of teaching was simple and delightful. His disciple used to
listen to him with rapt attention. There was no dull classroom-atmosphere.
The history of India, mythological stories, the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha had a
special place in his teaching.
Buddha's stories provided themes for the artists; Siddhartha tending the wounded swan,
the sorrow of Dasharatha, Goddess Kali, Sathyabhama, Krishna, Shiva's Thandava Dance,
Bheeshma's Oath, Gandhari, Dhritharashtra, Sanjaya - these pictures were shaped by
Nandalal's imagination. There were others inspired by 'Bethala Panchavimshathi' stories.
His 'Sati' was a work, which won much praise.
Havell had great faith in Bose's genius. When Abanindranath suggested to Bose that he
should make a few changes in his picture 'Siddhartha', Havell said, "No, let it be as
it is" and justified Bose's conception.
On account of his illness Havell had to return to England. Percy Brown who succeeded
him was a disciplinarian. He not only ordered that every one should come in time, but also
got the doors closed when it was time. On the very first day Bose had to stay out.
Abanindranath had to get special permission to enable Bose to come in.