Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Prabanchak- A Compilation of Two Bengali Novels by Narayan Sanyal

Prabanchak is a collection of two books- Monalisar Preme and Prabanchak. Both are real life incidents which deal with the theme of theft and fraud in the world of painting.

Monalisar Preme tells us about the theft of the famous painting Monalisa by Leonardo da Vinci. How a person named Vincenzo Peruggia stole the original painting and  later how it was found and returned to the original place, that is Louvre of Paris.

The story tells us about the process of how fake paintings were made by an art dealer. How he managed to cheat many persons and also about the simple minded Peruggia, who lived in his own world, had talent in painting and how his world changed completely after the theft.

Later I read about them from the internet and came to know more details about the case, I felt like reading a mystery novel :)

Prabanchak is the story where some paintings by an artist (Han van Meegeren), is made to look like original paintings by another famous artist Johannes Vermeerabout selling those paintings and at the end how the painter gets caught. Tragic thing is that the public/ court did not believe that the paintings were originally drawn by him for the purpose of giving a fitting reply to one of his critics that he had such a great talent in painting.

I knew about Thomas Chatterton of English Literature, who did something like this, writing poems like old days and sending them to get recognised as historical work- and also his pathetic end, that he could not accept the fact that the authorities did not believe it to be his own original work. Here, the writer Narayal Sanyal also has mentioned this incident at the end of Prabanchak to show the similarity in both the cases.

At the conclusion, Narayan Sanyal talks us about both the stories- the disappointment faced by the main protagonists, their struggle / aim in life and whether they had achieved it or not.

It was a new kind if book to me as I have never read anything on paintings, except the theory classes we attended in neighbourhood drawing class while in school. Enjoyed the topic. Came to know so much about the world of painting. And about the famous theft of Monalisa and the attempt to copy others work in one's own work and claiming them to others. So complex thinking naturally brings a bitter result, as faced by Han van Meegeren.

(Here I have uploaded the cover photo of Prabanchak, 2013 edition by Dey's Publishing. Photo is used for the purpose of appreciation only. No personal profit intended.)

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