Zainul Abedin (1914-1976)
By all accounts, the pioneer of the modern art movement in Bangladesh. In 1943, he produced a series of sketches on the famine that had affected much of Bengal the same year. This series became popularly known as the famine sketches and brought him to prominence in the Indian sub-continent. After the partition, Zainul played a leading role in setting up a government art college in Dhaka which would later become the Institute of Fine Arts. In his involvement with the then newly founded art college, Zainul was an inspirational figure and mentor to many art students who would later emerge as prominent artists of Bangladesh. Zainul’s work reflects his preference for realism and predilection for folk forms and primary colours.