Fanindranath Bose


Peebles, EH45 8FB
United Kingdom
55° 39' 4.5432" N, 3° 11' 32.5968" W
Board of Manufacturers School Edinburgh, EH8 8HG
United Kingdom
55° 57' 7.956" N, 3° 10' 19.4196" W
Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1888
Precise DOB unknown: 
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Date of death: 
01 Aug 1926
Location of death: 
Peebles, Scotland

Fanindranath Bose’s name remains absent from the histories of the ‘New Sculpture’ Movement in Britain, yet his sculptures, training and connections suggest that he was a part of this late nineteenth/early twentieth century network of sculptors who were primarily concerned with reproducing the human body in bronze. Born in India, Bose was trained at the Jubilee Art Academy and the Calcutta School of Art before moving to Europe to pursue his ambition to become a sculptor.

After failing to gain admittance to an Italian art academy or the Royal College of Art in London, Bose enrolled at the Board of Manufacturers School of Edinburgh. Scotland was to become Bose’s home. He married a Scottish woman and settled in Edinburgh where he worked for the sculptor Percy Portsmouth at the College of Art after graduating from the Board of Manufacturers School. A Stuart Prize and a travelling scholarship jointly awarded by Edinburgh University and the Bengal Government allowed Bose to spend a year on the Continent where he was heavily influenced by Rodin’s use of bronze (as indeed were a lot of the ‘New Sculptors’, including Alfred Gilbert, Hamo Thornycroft and William Goscombe John). Goscombe John bought Bose’s The Hunter after its exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 1916. Bose had made his debut at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1913, followed by an exhibition at the Royal Academy in London with Boy in Pain the next year. He entered The Snake Charmer and The Athlete and the Hound to the RA in 1919 and 1924, respectively.

As well as having his own sculpture studio in Edinburgh, Bose was recruited by Sayaji Rao III Gaekwad, Maharaja of Baroda, to teach briefly at Baroda College whilst he was making eight sculptures for the Gaekwad’s Laxmi Vilas Palace and two for Baroda Gallery. The Gaekwad also commissioned a copy of The Hunter after seeing it in Goscombe John’s collection. Bose turned down an invitation to work on the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta. His reasons are not recorded. Bose was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy after completing a group of sculptures in St John’s Church, Perth. He died in Peebles, Scotland, aged 37 on 1 August 1926.


William Goscombe John, Sayaji Rao III

Royal Academy, Royal Scottish Academy


N. Singh, ‘A Bengali Sculptor Trained in Europe. The Art of Fanindranath Bose’, The Graphic, 1 May 1920

The Modern Review (Calcutta), 1921

The Times, 7 August 1926 (notice of his death)

Secondary works: 

Mitter, Partha, Art and Nationalism in Colonial India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)


N. Singh, ‘A Bengali Sculptor Trained in Europe. The Art of Fanindranath Bose’, The Graphic, 1 May 1920, p. 686


The rising star [and] the first Bengali to gain international fame as a sculptor.