The landscape artist is a transmute of chaotic Nature into a cosmos of enchanting forms of lofty mountain peaks, deep green valleys, rushing white cascades, cloudy days and rainy night, autumn mornings and summer evenings vibrant with the dance of line and the music of colour. Bireswar Sen was such an artist. Bireswar Sen, took the eternal Himalayan range of his leit-motif. Since a long time Bireswar Sen had been exclusively a landscape painter. He was a talented colourist like the late Nicholas Roerich. He worked in the media of water colours and pastels with the same ability. He usually painted his miniature landscapes in water colours his bigger ones in pastels.
Bireswar Sen or Bireshwar Sen, was a miniature painter par excellence, his miniature landscapes are indeed poems in colour. The size of these miniatures is only 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" , and in this limited space he shows us infinite distances as well as lofty Himalayan snow peaks resplendent with the chromatic effects of sunset and sunrise.
On 16 December 1942, Nicholas Reorich wrote from Naggar, his home in India in the Himalayas:
“India should be proud in having such talented artists and cultured workers as Bireswar Sen (Bireshwar Sen). The Young generation is greatly indebted to him for his enlightened guidance. Many of the Museums in India possess his paintings. I am delighted to see that his creations are rightly appreciated, because a Great Country should collect and cherish the masterpieces of her boat representatives. I would be glad to hear that some outstanding post is given to Bireswar Sen where he can exercise his brilliant abilities.”
In 1918, when Bireswar was still a bit short of taking his bachelor’s degree in English, he met with two men who had by then acquired the status of icons in artistic circles: Abanindranath Tagore and his foremost pupil, Nandalal Bose.
Bireswar Sen studied in the Indian Society of Oriental Art for six years under the celebrated artist Dr. Abanindronath Tagore D.Litt, C.I.E.
The arts of Bireswar Sen (Bireshwar Sen)(1897-1974), even though born of the same stirrings that were being felt in Bengal in the early years of the last century, is in a class of its own. Over the years, this distinguished disciple of Abanindranath Tagore charted a path of his own, as if "hearing a different drummer". There is quietude in his work, and a sense of contemplative stillness. Bireswar Sen was greatly drawn to the mountains, painting the Himalayas again and again. But for all the sweep and the majesty of the mountains that he so loved, he painted them on a small, almost miniscule scale, the average size of most of his studies no larger than a postcard. But in his works there is no absence of grandeur, no loss of stateliness. One does not in fact even notice the smallness of the scale, for as one gazes at them, one keeps moving inside each work, crossing icy peaks, exploring caverns, taking in vistas of sky and earth. And, above all, feeling a higher presence that now reveals itself, and now disappears. One is compelled to go quiet, and to think.
--- Prof. B.N.Goswamy for "BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH - HIMALAYAS AND THE ART OF BIRESWAR SEN", Exhibition on works of Bireswar Sen, Organised by Anant Art Gallery, 19 February 2010 - 28 February 2010 At Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, India