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Home > Tributes and Remembrances > Tributes to Mario de Miranda

Tributes to Mario de Miranda

11 December 2011

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Gentle portraitist of a pulsing mosaic

by Sadanand Menon (The Hindu, 11 December 2011)

. . . As a post-Independence artist, Mario and his humungous menagerie of human types enacting their compulsive narratives within the theatrics of the daily cartoon frame, almost constructed a pan-Indian urban identity into which we felt ourselves being inclusively inducted in faux detail. It seemed to dovetail seamlessly with the national slogan of ‘unity in diversity’, as Mario used his pen-and-ink lines and hatches to mirror back to us a tantalising range of antagonistic types anchored within a choreographed inter-play of the individual and the collective. No wonder he agreed to be part of that ‘pulp-patriotic’ music-video of the 1980s for Doordarshan called Mile sur mera tumhara.

While his quintessentially bewitching and busty Bollywood actress Rajini Nimbupani, helplessly ogled at by an assortment of men with moustaches and leers, anticipates the contemporary flounciness of a Vidya Balan in Dirty Picture by half-a-century, his political stereotype of the smirking, oily, perpetually hamming politico B.C. Bundaldas [forever at the mercy of his resigned looking, superior-mannered and Machiavellian ‘Madrasi’ secretary M.C. Moonswamy] looks disinclined to recede even after all these decades.

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His sharp wit never needed a punchline

by Vivek Menezes (, 11 December 2011)

[. . .]

"It may be hard to imagine that an artist so widely beloved, for so very long, still had something left to surprise. But this is indeed the case with Miranda, and an unseen part of his artistic legacy that has only come recently to light.

These are the remarkable visual diaries that the young artist kept from 1949-1952, years he spent at home in Goa after the sudden death of his father. Mario never attended art school, but had always been a prodigious caricaturist. Now he started to fill leaves of an unlined notebook with observations of village life in Loutolim.

We see an impressive turn to narrative, probably after coming into contact with American comics. Now he’s on to something, and we see hard work and ambition shine from each successive page. It is immensely moving to see this young, untrained Goan boy dramatically raise the bar for himself, working away in isolation.

And so by 1951, a brand new truth trumpets itself from almost every page: Miranda had already become one of the greatest, most unique illustrators of the 20th century. " [. . .].