“Marathi Poets”, by Mumbiram, Watercolor, 1982
Marathie Poets

“Marathi Poets 1982” deals with the rise of ‘Dalit’ Poets of the former untouchable class. This painting made in 1982 saw the light of the day in the article “In Search of Art that transcends Culture” in the Marathi Daily “Sakal” in 1985.

This is from the “Personalist” period of Mumbiram’s art. Mumbiram was acutely aware of the emerging social movements in Maharashtra. Emergence of Dalit Literature was an exciting happening in the 1980s.

Mumbiram’s muses were mostly from the Dalit communities. Through his art Mumbiram was making his muses aware of their own unique beauty.

Two of the darker Marathi Poets shown by Mumbiram in this watercolor rendering appear to be from the Dalit community. They appear to exude great assurance and self-confidence. The third lighter poet perhaps represents traditional Marathi poetry. She appears to take thoughtful cognizance of her new colleagues. Appearing as early as 1985 in the local popular daily this watercolor rendering received an enthusastic welcome.