The Painter and the Pioneer | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 09, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

The Painter and the Pioneer

The Painter and the Pioneer

Rashid Hossain Chowdhury
Rashid Hossain Chowdhury

Rashid Hossain Chowdhury popularly known as Rashid Chowdhury is one of the most prominent contemporary artists of Bangladesh. He was famous for his tapestry works and was one of the best tapestry artists of this sub continent in 20th century. Besides tapestries and frescoes, his oil paintings and works with water colour are also much acclaimed. Rashid was one of the pioneers of art education in Bangladesh. His frescos and tapestries have been preserved in many important buildings of Bangladesh and in many other countries. We remember this great artist on his 28th death anniversary.

Rashid was born in April 1, 1932 in a zamindar family of Faridpur district of the then East Bengal
After passing matriculation exam, he applied to get admitted in the art college but failed in the admission test
After six months of continuous study and proving himself, famous artiste Zainul Abedin accepted Rashid in Dhaka Art College in 1949
Renowned artistes Kayum Chowdhury, Murtaza Bashir, Abdur Razzak were his batchmates at Dhaka Art College

In 1956 Rashid went to the Central EsculaDes Bellias Artes De San Fernando in Madrid to study sculpture
He joined Dhaka Art College (Currently Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka) as a teacher but left his job in 1960
he went to the Academy of Julian and Beaux Arts Paris in 1961 and completed his post graduation on tapestry, fresco and sculpture
After his return in 1964 he established the first tapestry workshop in Bangladesh

In September 1971 the then Pakistan government offered him a gold medal for his contribution, but he refused and fled to Paris
After the liberation he returned to Bangladesh and established an arts building in Chittagong on his own imitative and later he refurbished into District Academy of Arts and Crafts
He was also one of the founders of Fine Arts department in Chittagong University
His tapestries and frescoes have been preserved in National Parliament House of Bangladesh, Asian Decelopment Bank in Manilla, Bangladesh Bank Building, Bangladesh National Museum etc

Life of grassroot people and their daily activities were the main themes of his works
He was conferred with many national and international awards for his artworks
He achieved Ekushey Padak on 1977 for his tapestry works
Rashid Chowdhury breathed his last on December 12, 1986 at the age of 54 in Dhaka

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