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Mahatma Gandhi - Study No 1

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 Oil on canvas   60 X 50 cm / 24 X 20 inches

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Mahatma Gandhi, employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign in 1947 for Indian independence from British rule. His leadership has continued to inspire civil rights movements across the world.

Gandhi's birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence.

Gandhi's actions also contributed to the demise of the British Empire. Although it would continue in a weakening form for decades, the Suez Crisis of 1956 confirmed Britain's decline as a global power, and the transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997 marked the end of an Empire that had survived since the 16th century.

In this abstract portrait, the cool grey flesh tones of the subject indicate a steely determination to overcome tyranny using mass nonviolent civil disobedience. The contrast with the heat and turmoil of India in the first half of the 20th century as suggested by the vibrant background could not be starker.

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