Trained in the style of art known as the neo-Bengal School, Gopal Ghose was born in Kolkata in 1913. He became a legend in his lifetime for his ingenious handling of the quick and unpredictable medium of watercolor. To him goes the credit of raising its status in Indian art history, from a dabbler's medium to an artist's medium.
After obtaining a diploma in painting from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Jaipur in 1935, he formally trained in sculpture, from Government College of Art, Madras, where he studied under Debi Prasad Roy Choudhuri, known for his realistic style in his paintings and sculptures.
He was one of the founder members of the well-known Calcutta Group (1943). Proficient with several mediums, Ghose was adept not only with watercolor, but also with tempera, pen and ink, and brush and pastel. His economical technique of swift sweeping brushwork in his landscapes was especially admired, including by the likes of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Among his contemporaries, he stood out, both as a draughtsman and as a skilled water colorist.
Ghose taught at the Indian Society of Oriental Art, in Kolkata from 1940-45 and then joined the faculty of the Bengal Engineering College, Shibpur, where he taught architectural drawing. He was also the joint secretary of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata. The Indian landscape fascinated him and he traveled extensively within the country on his bicycle. He also stayed in various Indian cities with diverse climates and terrains, including snow-peaked Simla, temperate Madras and holy Benares. He also traveled to Europe and America.
He liked to draw as much as he painted and there was great diversity in his drawings that covered the many aspects of nature: trees, flowers and the Indian terrain - paddy fields, bamboo groves and riverside life .
Education/Teaching Experience :
Studied at Anglo-Bengali College, Allahabad. 1931-35 Diploma in Painting, MSAC, Jaipur. 1935-38 Diploma in Sculpture, under guidance of D.P. Roychowdhury, GSA, Madras. Art Teacher, B.T. Deptt. of Scottish Church College, Calcutta. 1940-45 Taught at ISOA, Calcutta. 1945 Taught architectural design, Faculty of Bengal Engineering College, Shivpur. 1950-72 Taught at GCAC, Calcutta.
1931 Exhb., London. 1940-47 Exhb., BAAC, Calcutta. 1947 Exhb., AIFACS, New Delhi. 1950 Joint exhb., Calcutta Group and Bombay Progressive Artists\' Group, Chowringee Terrace, Calcutta. 1952 First solo exhb., Chowringee Terrace, Calcutta. 1986, 87 Retrospective, Art Heritage, New Delhi. 1987 Retrospective, Chitrakoot Art Gallery, Calcutta. 1995 Retrospective, Private Residence, Calcutta. 1995 Retrospective, organised by BAAC, Birla Century Art Gallery, Bombay. 1997 Copal Chose: The Pre- Independence Years, exhb. on occasion of 50th anniversary of Indian Independence, BAAC, Calcutta.
1938 Rajgopalachari saw his paintings and was highly impressed. Awarded JDR 3rd Fund Fellowship, USA. 1943 Founder member, Calcutta Group, Calcutta. Joint Secretary, AFA, Calcutta.
AFA, Kolkata. BAAC, Kolkata. NGMA, New Delhi. Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore. The Gallery, Chennai. Jane and Kito de Boer, Dubai. Neville Tuli and Osian\'s-Connoisseurs of Art Archive, Mumbai. Mukund and Neerja Lath, Jaipur. Jehangir Nicholson Collection, Mumbai. Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi.