Louvre: The unique heritage of art specific to France.

Sen’s meditating place since his arrival in Paris, November 1973, was on river Seine’s Left bank which gave him a grandstand view of the Louvre. He could not afford to enter the world’s largest museum, but he regularly spent time enjoying 18th century Louvre from this distance. He would imagine how one day he will see all the paintings of the Masters inside, whom he studied about in books in Calcutta Art College. Starting work in France as a sweeper in a lithographic print shop did not stop Sen from imbibing the deep inner sense of French artistic dimension. Also on the Left bank is Ecole des Beaux Arts; he got a chance to enroll here in 1974. A tourist friend in Paris had obliged him to visit Voltaire’s house at Quai Voltaire just in front of the Louvre. 

Much later he wondrously realized Voltaire’s fundamental contribution to the French value of freedom of expression which penetrates every aspect of French life. Perhaps ideology like this inspired Modern Art. Sen’s magnetic attraction to the Louvre surrounds all he’s passionate about, Ecole des Beaux Arts, the century-old Sennelier art shop, Voltaire, the bouquinists and the artistic culture of Seine’s Left bank. To this day Sen nostalgically sits on the Left bank meditatively watching the Louvre.


When India was partitioned 1947 to create Pakistan, a new country for Muslims, about 20 million people of Bengal and Punjab were displaced and brutally victimized. Sen’s wealthy, literate family had huge landed property in erstwhile East Bengal, the present Bangladesh, which was carved out to be East Pakistan for Muslims. So for being Hindus Sen’s family was overnight evicted from their home. Without taking any possessions, they fled for their lives amidst people warring over religion, and so became squatted refugees in West Bengal.