Dr. S. M. Pandit (Sambanand Monappa Pandit, March 25, 1916 – March 30, 1993) was one of a popular and much sought-after painters of his times.
Pandit’s subjects oscillated between events from classical Indian literature including the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Puranas, etc. and the Contemporary Cinema of his times.
He infused a rare blend of artistic virtuosity and ‘filmi’ glamour to his portrayal of romantic characters like Radha-Krishna, Nala-Damayanti, Viswamitra-Menaka etc. as also the many heroes and heroines of Hindi Cinema. In addition to his critically acclaimed masterpieces he also illustrated many popular film posters, film magazines and various other publications in what can collectively be termed as calendar art. Needless to say, his works remain hugely popular even today.
His mythological paintings and calendar art have been collected widely. He is also widely celebrated in the Indian Calendar industry for his “realistic” depiction (albeit inspired by contemporary Indian cinema) of themes from Hindu Mythology. In these paintings he emphasized the physical forms of the heroes, heroines, gods and goddesses in marked contrast to traditional and classical styles of Indian painting. In his paintings, Pandit depicted his subjects as handsome, muscular, valorous men and sensuously beautiful, voluptuous women set in surroundings suggestive of Cinema settings and sceneries.