D. P. Roy Chowdhury was born in the town of Tajhat in present-day Bangladesh. He learnt sculpting from Hiranmoy Roychoudhuri, painting from Abanindranath Tagore and life drawing and portraiture from E. Boyess. Equally at ease with plaster and paint, Roy Chowdhury evolved his skills in casting in bronze, and executed paintings that were an amalgam of the Chinese technique, the Japanese wash process and his own scratching method, though his early paintings bore the influence of Abanindranath Tagore’s technique and style depicting realistic imagery with imaginative fair.
Roy Chowdhury moved to Madras from Bengal as Superintendent of the Madras College of Art. He chose his figures from the crowd in the streets, mingling freely among men and women of a less advantaged class in preference to studio models. Chowdhury’s range of sculptures included a large number of busts, life-sized statues and larger-than-life-size works. In recognition of his merit and contribution to art, in 1937 the British Government honoured Roy Chowdhury with a Most Exalted Member of the British Empire (M.B.E).
In 1958 the artist was awarded a Padma Bhushan by the President of India, followed by a doctor of letters by Rabindra Bharati University in 1968. Chowdhury’s works are included in major national and international collections as well as displayed at public places across India.