Zainul Abedin- (শিল্পাচার্য জয়নুল আবেদিন)

Zainul Abedin


Zainul Abedin was a pioneering Bangladeshi artist renowned for his contribution to the modern art movement in South Asia. Born in 1914, he is best known for his powerful depictions of the Bengal famine of 1943. Abedin’s work continues to inspire and influence artists around the world.

Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin (শিল্পাচার্য জয়নুল আবেদিন) Great Teacher of the Arts in Bangladesh.
(December 29, 1914 – May 28, 1976)

His paintings on the Bengal famine of 1940s is probably his most characteristic work In Bangladesh,he is referred with honor as Shilpacharya. Zainul Abedin was born in Mymensingh,on December 29, 1914.

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Zainul Abedin Biography


Name Zainul Abedin
Date of Birth 29 December 1914
Date of Death 28 May 1976
Known As Shilpacharya (Master of Art)
Nationality Bangladeshi
Significant Contributions Series of paintings depicting famines in Bengal, establishment of Institute of Arts and Crafts, pioneer of modern art movement in Bangladesh
Recognition Honored with the title “Shilpacharya” (Great teacher of the arts)
Notable Work Santal Couples (1963), sold for US$381,000 at Sotheby’s, New York


Zainul Abedin Early Life

Zainul Abedin, the renowned artist, was born in Kishoreganj, Bangladesh. He spent most of his childhood near the banks of the Brahmaputra river, which later became a significant inspiration for his artistic works.

Abedin was the first Muslim student to achieve a first-class distinction in school, showing early signs of his exceptional talent and dedication. Despite his dissatisfaction with traditional Oriental styles and the limitations of European art, Abedin went on to become a pioneer of modern Bangladeshi art. His ability to transcend traditional boundaries and portray the struggles of ordinary people earned him the title of the founding father of Bangladeshi modern art.

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Through his work, he not only revolutionized the art scene but also initiated art education in Bangladesh, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of art.


Zainul Abedin Family

Parents Siblings
Joynabunnesa, Tamizuddin Ahmed Jahanara Abedin
Saruar Abedin
Khairul Abedin
Moinul Abedin


Zainul Abedin, a Bangladeshi painter, was born to Joynabunnesa and Tamizuddin Ahmed. He had four siblings: Jahanara Abedin, Saruar Abedin, Khairul Abedin, and Moinul Abedin. Zainul Abedin was a pioneer of the modern art movement in Bangladesh and is considered the founding father of Bangladeshi modern arts. He earned several prestigious awards and recognition for his contributions to the art world.


Career, Achievements And Controversies

Zainul Abedin was a renowned Bangladeshi painter who played a pioneering role in the modern art movement. He began his career as an art teacher in undivided India and became known for his figure paintings and ink sketches depicting the horrors of famine.

Zainul Abedin received widespread recognition for his artistic contributions. Some of his famous paintings include “Famine Sketches” and “The Rebel,” which are celebrated for their powerful portrayal of human suffering and resilience. He is also known for his modernist art and realistic approach to painting.

He was honored with several awards and accolades for his artistic prowess and significant impact on the art world.

Despite his artistic achievements, Zainul Abedin was not immune to controversies. However, his controversial aspects are not widely documented and may not overshadow his artistic legacy.

May be a black-and-white image of 4 people

Zainul Abedin Some notable pictures

Some of the notable pictures were – paintings of Shilpacharya during his travels to different countries, gunatana, father and son waiting to cross the river and famine. The collection was stolen in 1982 and 17 of the most interesting pictures were found, but 10 pictures were recovered in 1994. At present, the museum has a total of 63 paintings and includes objects used by Shilpacharya and some of his stills. The stills adorn the second floor balcony of the building.

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স্বীকৃতি লাভ recognition


In 1963 it was recognized as a first class government college and was named East Pakistan College of Arts and Crafts. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the name of the same institution was changed to ‘Bangladesh Charu and Karukla Mahavidyalaya’. Zainul Abedin served as the founding principal of Charu and Karukla Mahavidyalaya from 1948 AD to 1966 AD.


Zainul Abedin Achievements

Zainul Abedin was a renowned Bangladeshi painter, widely regarded as the founding father of Bangladeshi modern art.

Zainul Abedin is best known for his powerful depictions of the Bengal famine of 1943 and his pioneering role in promoting the art and culture of Bangladesh.

Zainul Abedin’s artistic style was characterized by realism and a deep sense of social consciousness. His works often depicted the sufferings of the common people and the rural life of Bangladesh.

Zainul Abedin’s artwork can be viewed at the Zainul Abedin Museum in Mymensingh, Bangladesh, as well as in various art galleries and museums around the world.