Sunil Madhav Sen was born in Purulia, West Bengal. 1922 His family moved to Calcutta from Purulia. 1929-30 Associated with Abanindranath Tagore. 1940s Visited Gangtok, Darjeeling and Bhutan Border. 1943 Joined the `Calcutta Group`, Calcutta.
At the age of nine, he learned drawing from a local drawing teacher. In 1933, he took his diploma from the City College, Calcutta University. During 1937-38, Sunil Madhav Sen, graduated in Law and started legal practice in the city. He used to visit the studios of Abanindranath Tagore, Jamini Prakash Gangooly, Atul Bose, seeking lessons and encouragement from them. For more than two years, he worked in the studio of Hemen Majumdar, where he completed his apprenticeship of portrait painting. Sunil Madhab Sen in his search for a modernist language in art, has tried out both Western and indigenous artistic modes to arrive at a personal idiom. A simplified serene beauty, that his art explores, is an outcome of the inwardness of his consciousness. His passage from academic naturalism to Indian folk tradition via European cubistic and expressionistic features and a proper synthesis of all these modes unfolded to him a process of Indian modernity. The impact of folk art on Sunil Madhav Sen’s practice came through his contact with Jamini Roy, whom he visited for advice and guidance. The result of this can be seen in his paintings, when the iconic frontality of his figures and the basic simplicity of forms would indicate a distinctly individual reference to folk practices. Despite the inspiring role of Jamini Roy, Sunil Madhav did not attempt to simply imitate the stylistic signature of the former, but tried to internalize the pictorial logic of folk languages in his own practice, exploring the possibilities that folk art held for the modern. Sen used the impasto technique widely. It was his love for the folk and the traditional art and sculptures that inspired Sen to experiment a lot. He made various sculptural images on canvas and masonite boards. He stuck stone chips on the Masonite board with glue, and then gives it a coat of paint to get a desired sculptural effect on the surface.
He died in November 1979.