Admirer of Paul Raj Paintings

My photo
Paul was born in Kodaikanal on 22 September 1914 and died on 2 October 1979. G D Arulraj was born in 1925 and died in June 1972 while visiting India. Arul worked at Laguna Beach in the 60's and 1970's. G D Thyagaraj might have been born in 1922 and I am told that he probably died sometime before 1981. He moved to northern India as a young man. I lived in India as a child and spent a lot of time in Calcutta. My mother purchased several paintings directly from Paul Raj while living in Madras and this got me interested in his works. I then discovered he had two brothers Arul Raj and Thyaga Raj who were both fantastic artists. I could not find much information on the internet so decided to set up my own blog. Subsequently a Facebook tribute site has also been created to the memory of the three brothers. Contact me at:

Thursday, 18 December 2014

G D Paulraj - Planting Rice

I returned from a three week vacation to India on 7 December, it was the first time I had been back to India since 1974 some forty years ago.  While touring in south India I came across a framed painting by G D Paulraj resting on the floor of a museum in Pondicherry.  The museum contents were meant to have come from the former French Governor's house.  As Pondicherry got independence in 1954 this could be a guide to the age of the painting.
I talked to some other visitors about the Raj family but none of them knew about the artists.  Certainly the subject matter reflected what was happening in the fields today.  It was the only 'Raj' painting I saw on my travels.  I attach below  a photo I took of workers in the fields in November 2014 in Tamil Nadu, but they were not planting rice.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Mahabalipuram extract from cine film taken in 1962

Extract from a cine film taken in 1962.  This shows my father and I looking at the rock carvings at Mahabalipuram in Madras.  Not sure I have managed to upload a movie before.  Please note there is no sound.
I recently visited India and tried to take some photos in the same locations I will be posting these in the next few weeks.  Some 52 years apart a lot of time and very much busier as well.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

G D Paulraj - Working in the fields

This painting was recently in the exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Paul Raj.  It depicts a group of women working in the fields it is not very different to one hanging on the wall of my daughter's house.
The colours must have been distorted over time or by the camera, they seem a little forced?  The earlier posting can be found here. (click on link)

Thursday, 6 November 2014

G D Paulraj - After the Task

This recently appeared for sale and the vendor called it 'After the Tusk'? This was a little strange I think it might be called 'After the Task' which would make more sense it is a nice painting.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Market Screens

This is the second painting by Thyagaraj that I was sent by Margaret, this shows a very nice colourful market with screens in the building which must have been difficult to paint?
Again this painting seems to be in very good condition for the age and has good strong colours. Thanks for sharing Margaret.  It is also worth noting that this week my page view counter clicked past 200,000 not a big number compared with some sites but still interesting.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Collecting water from the tank

I was recently contacted by a lady called Margaret who lived in India between 1947 and 1965 her parents were working there.  She owns two paintings by Thyagaraj which were acquired by her parents.  She spent some time in Calcutta and recently came across my blog and contacted me by email.  I am adding the first of her two paintings today showing several women collecting water from a tank and climbing a steep flight of stairs.  It is signed in the lower right hand corner.
This is a nice colourful painting having preserved its colours after so many years.  Thanks to Margaret for letting me add it to the blog.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Calcutta Swimming Club - One Mile Certificate - 1968

While tidying up my papers I came across a certificate I was awarded in September 1968 for swimming one mile breast stroke in the amazingly slow time of 53 minutes and 46 seconds.  At the time my father was President of the Calcutta Swimming Club so he was able to sign the certificate along with the Club Captain.
I assume they still give out the certificates?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Temple Scene

This painting by Thyagaraj recently sold on the internet for under $300.  It depicts some cattle resting in a market square near a temple or Mosque.  The framers label on the reserve said it was framed in New Delhi.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

G D Paulraj - Doing the Dhobi

This is a water colour by G D Paulraj that recently sold in the USA for $103.27 which converts to only £63.31.  It shows a group of men and women busy washing clothes "Doing the Dhobi".  I cannot decide to some extent it looks unfinished or faded or maybe it is fine, it just looks a bit washed out at the top of the painting but quite an interesting composition.
Anyway someone has got themselves a good deal and I hope they enjoy their new purchase.

Monday, 22 September 2014

100th Anniversary of the birth of G D Paulraj

While checking my blog this morning I just realised that it will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of G D Paulraj.  Therefore I have decided to add his photograph to the blog this morning, it is one that I have added before.  According to information I was given he was born on 22 September 1914.

Monday, 15 September 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Camels at the City Gates

This is the second painting that was purchased by Waldemar at the thrift store, just to clarify he said they each cost $16.99 which is still a really good buy.  It shows some carts being pulled by camels leaving the city gates.  We have seen this composition before and it can be found under the title "City Gates x 2".
The green square that you can see is the price sticker from the Thrift Market.  Once again thanks for sharing with me.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Bishop's College Calcutta around 1959

When my parents were first in Calcutta after they moved from Madras the family lived in a rented apartment connected to Bishop's College at Ballygunge in Calcutta.  Today I came across some photos of the college at this time, I could be a few years out with the date.  The first photo below is of the student accommodation that looked out onto a grassy square where the students used to play volleyball for recreation.
The second photo is of the Chapel in the college grounds which was just over the fence from where the family ended up living at 67 Ballygunge.  You can see a student ringing the chapel bell calling the congregation to attend a service.  Now I think back I can remember the bell being rung.
The final photo shows a group of students having a meal.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Market outside of the Mosque

I am adding one of two photos sent to me by Waldemar who I think is in the USA.  He contacted me after seeing my blog, he had spotted two paintings by Thyagaraj in his local thrift store.  After doing his research he said he was going back the next day to but them apparently they were for sale at the bargain price of $16.99 each.  Thanks for sending me the photos Waldemar.
It looks a nice painting, unfortunately there is a bit of reflection on the photo.  I will add the second painting in a day or two.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Monsoon damaged road

I have added a photo I took around 1967 I was on a trip from Calcutta to a seaside town called Puri on the Bay of Bengal when we ran into trouble caused by heavy rains.  The road we were driving on had been washed away by the water exposing the roots of the trees.  In the background you can see some carts and cattle which have been stranded by the damaged road.  The carts look very similar to those found in the Raj brother's paintings.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Elephant Kerosene Delivery cart

This is a great photo of my sister in Calcutta around 1962 standing next to a delivery cart being pulled by a buffalo which is pulling a tank of kerosene which appears to be banded 'Elephant Kerosene'.  Across the road in the background is the building site of 'Tivoli Court' complete with bamboo scaffolding.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Mosque

This is the second painting I was sent by Cyrus (thanks again for sending me the photos), it shows a Mosque again a very typical scene for Thyagaraj to paint.

Friday, 15 August 2014

G D Thyagaraj - City Gates

I was contacted by a gentleman that used to live in Calcutta around the same time I was there.  His family owned two paintings by Thyagaraj the first I am adding today is a typical 'City Gates' scene that he used to paint.  Thanks to Cyrus for letting me add them to my blog.
The painting is very like several I have seen before, I will look for the others and compare them with this one.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Calcutta Swimming Club 1962

A photo taken around 1962 showing the outside pool at the swimming club.  You can also see the high diving boards and the round floating raft, water polo goal and the platform for sunbathing.
From memory it was probably a 50 meter (or was it yards in those days) pool you only had to swim around 56 lengths to get your mile certificate.  Hmmm! that does not work out anyway it was a very big pool.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Cows resting

Another G D Thyagaraj water colour showing a group of cows resting at the edge of a market scene.
Nearby are some carts and women carrying baskets.  The frame of the painting is very similar to some I own myself.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Tree House in Calcutta

As a surprise one year when I went to visit my father during the holidays in Calcutta when I arrived I could see a huge tree house he had arranged to be built by the company carpenter.  It was on the first large branch of a big mango tree with a tall stepladder for access.
It was probably built around 1966 and in the foreground you can see one of the company cars which was an Ambassador car which were built in Calcutta.  I read an article on The BBC website during July which said after falling sales the factory has now closed.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Tollygunge Golf Club

My sister and I used to play golf at Tollygunge Golf Club in Calcutta in the early 1970s, while looking through an old box of photos I came across this photo I took while playing gold there.  Unfortunately I am not in the photo but my caddy is standing on probably the 18th tee with the club house in the back ground I think this was taken in 1973.
You can see my club and ball on the tee waiting for me to take my shot.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

G D Paulraj - Cows resting in the shade

Painting by G D Paulraj of a few cows resting at the side of a street in the shade of a building and some trees.  It reminds me of a another painting called 'Madali Street' but taken from a slightly different angle.
I am discussing with my sister on a visit to southern India later this year, I checked some old passports and I reckon the last time I was in India might have been January 1974 so just over 40 years ago, wow what a long time!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Panoramic view of Calcutta from the 1960s - B.O.A.C. VC10 advertising photo

My wife found this rolled up panoramic photograph in the original cardboard tube addressed to my father in Calcutta.  It is from the local B.O.A.C. office on on the back are details of the regular flights of what was a new aircraft the VC10.  Fortunately with the iPhone you have the facility to take panoramic photos otherwise this would have been difficult to capture.
In the centre of the photo is the Victoria Memorial and behind that is the Race Course, you can also see the Planetarium and I think it is St Paul's Cathedral it brings back a lot of memories.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Hooghly Ink Co Ltd- letter heading

Below is a copy of the letter heading used by the Hooghly Ink Co Ltd in India in 1976.  It shows the address of their offices in India and the main office in Calcutta.
Previously the address had been 67A, Ballygunge Circular Road but it was renamed at some point in the 1970s but the office was still located in the small building.  At the same time there was a trend to rename lots of streets in Calcutta.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Hooghly Ink Co Ltd - Leaving Photo 1950

I attach below a photo of the staff of the Hooghly Ink Co Ltd in Madras on the occasion of the retirement of Lt Col R O Taylor.  My father also appears on the photo, it was taken on 20 February 1950.
I also attach a close up of the front row.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

G D Paulraj - Bombay Bazaar

At first glance this is a slightly different painting by Paulraj as it does not have any carts, cows or banyans trees, I said different!
But it still looks like one of his paintings even with all those things missing, I like it.

Monday, 23 June 2014

G D Paulraj - Carts in Storm

Water colour by G D Paulraj showing two carts in a storm maybe during the monsoon season, it looks very wet.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

G D Arulraj - Street with shrines

This painting is by G D Arulraj and is a street scene with a shrine and it is quite a colourful composition.
The intensity of the sunlight and shadows has been captured well.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

G D Paulraj - Village Tap

A painting by G D Paulraj that sold in Bolton in the UK.  I did not come across this one until just after the auction, it looks a nice painting but hanging out of the frame.
There is some reflection on the glass at the lower third of the painting.  It was estimated to sell between £100 to £150 I do not know the final sale price.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Hooghly Ink Co Ltd - New Factory

I came across some old photographs from around 1947 to 1952 and the one I have attached shows the new factory of the Hooghly Ink Company Ltd being built in Madras. Two things catch your eye the first is the great car in the foreground and the second is the bamboo scaffolding being used in the construction of the new building.
Also are two photographs of the inside of the new factory where you can see they are starting to install the new machinery which was to be used to manufacture printing ink.
And from a slightly different angle.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

G D Arulraj - Sunset

Painting by G D Arulraj in his silhouette range is a sunset recently sold in the USA for $30, which is a really good buy for some lucky person.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Removing the husks

Water colour by G D Thyagaraj one of his agricultural workers scenes in this painting they are removing the husks bu throwing the grain in the air to let the breeze blow the husks away.
 It is a colourful scene with maybe a 'Flame in the Forest' tree in the background.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

G D Paulraj - Sunny Road

This painting shows a fantastic sunny road with a convoy of carts coming through the light by G D Paulraj.  It is a very clever painting.  I could not find if I have added it to the blog previously but it is a nice painting so no harm done if I have.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Hooghly Ink Co Ltd Sign

A little while ago (It might have been in 2011) I came across an advert for some selling a business sign depicting the details of the 'Hooghly Ink Company Ltd' I do not know where he acquired the sign!
I cannot believe that there has been more than one ink company with this name.  This is the company where my father worked for in India between 1947 to 1975.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Colonel George Strahan - Dal Lake

This painting caught my eye recently it was painted by Colonel George Strahan (1839-1913) it is of the Dal Lake in Kashmir.  I recognise the profile of the mountains overlooking the lake and feel I have a photo of the same view taken from the Cuttysark houseboat which I stayed on in the 1970's.
I am not exactly sure of the date it was painted, but I like it.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

G D Paulraj - Lunchtime

Painting by Paulraj in very poor condition cracked, faded and no frame.  But the composition is interesting, showing a women sitting under a Banyan tree cooking with an open fire.
It appeared for sale at an auction in Australia, I do not know what it sold for.

Monday, 17 March 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Temple Street Scene

This is a water colour by G D Thyagaraj of a temple set on a busy road.  I think he must have painted many variations of this scene from many directions.  I do not think I have added this particular painting before.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

G D Paulraj - Tea Shop

Painting by Paulraj of a tea shop which is a regular painting that he used to do.
At the end of the street two women with large pots of their heads are just walking out of sight round the corner.  Also the man in the centre left might have been out delivering tea (tea to go!).
Signature part of which is obscured by the frame. Followed by a label on the reverse of the painting showing it was framed in Bombay.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

G D Paulraj - Coconut Fibre

I recently purchased this painting from Ebay,  it was advertised the first time and did not sell and so when it was re-listed I weakened and got it for £50 which is a really good price.  I got it shipped without the glass but in the frame.  However, the frame was damaged (which I knew when I bought it) and did not do the painting any justice.
It really is a very good match to a painting I bought from the USA several years ago which is called 'Lunchtime', You can see the other photos at the following link. It says on the reverse that it is called 'Coconut Fibre' and was sold for Rs/- 200.  It has some foxing but it is not too bad.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Market with temple in the background

This photo was kindly sent to me by Janet and was purchase from the artist around 1968 or 1969.
Thanks Janet.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

G D Thyagaraj - Drink for the workers

Painting by G D Thyagaraj recently sold for £63.00 in the UK.  It is one of his rural Indian scenes showing agricultural workers in the fields.  In this one a lady is giving a male worker a drink.
In the back ground you can see some haystacks and some cows sleeping in the shade of the trees.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Hooghly Ink Company

While tidying up my desk I unearthed an old address book given to me by my father when he worked at the Hooghly Ink Company Ltd in Calcutta.  They also had factories in Madras, Bombay and Delhi. This address book dates from the late 1960's and the cover says "Manufacturers of fine printing inks for over 50 years."
Like all firms they had a selection of gifts to give to business contacts and clients, I also had a thread counter, a calendar and pen holder for a desk, an ink blotter, a keyring and of course they produced a calendar every year.  That would be interesting to track down a calendar.  I do remember that my sister featured on the calendar one year as a young child.  I think the business was first set up in India in the 1920's or early based on the statement on the address book it could be earlier but I am not certain?  It originally was a subsidy company of the UK ink manufacturer called Richardson's Printing Inks.