Painter's unseen works to make debut - Hill exhibition in Nov.

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  • Published 1.11.06

Residents of Darjeeling will soon get the rare opportunity to see the unfinished works of Goray Douglas, one of the renowned artists of the hill town, as his family plans to hold an exhibition of his paintings.

Douglas’s unique style of painting in oil, pastels, watercolour, charcoal and his etchings earned him international repute, with exhibitions being held across Europe. One of his many masterpieces, Portrait of a Young Child, was even bought by Lord Mountbatten.

To make his paintings affordable, the family has decided to come up with reprints. The unfinished works — the originals and the reprints — are expected to be put up for show in Darjeeling and Sikkim in November. The exhibition will be called “The Faces of The Hills”.

“This part of the country has started to forget Douglas. To commemorate his 30th death anniversary, we have decided to unravel his unseen works. This, we believe, will be a fitting way to revive his memories,” daughter Dolly Douglas told The Telegraph. Douglas died in 1976 in Darjeeling.

Born in 1920 at Maimio in erstwhile Burma, he came to India following the Japanese invasion in 1942. Once here, Mrs Anderson, a resident of the hill town, helped him settle down. The love of the people and the place inspired him to create the wonderful works that made him famous all over the world.

According to Dolly, Douglas was interested in art from childhood, but apparently Burmese masters refused to train him. “I am not sure how it happened, but one day the governor of Burma insisted that he should take part in the National Art and Hand Writing Competition where he won the gold medal in the art category,” said Dolly, who teaches at Loreto College here. That was the first recognition he received for his artistic talent.

“Most of his portraits are about people he met in Darjeeling. His famous portrait, Ghoom Ko Budo (an old man from Ghoom) was actually a guy who used to come to our house every Sunday from Ghoom to get his ration,” said Dolly.