A notable artist of the rebel Jubilee Art School, (training its students in British academic style, breaking away from Abanindranath’s Orientalist emphasis), Hemendranath Majumdar enjoyed great artistic success. Painting in European academic realist language, he was one of the co-founders of the Indian Academy of Fine Arts in 1919. Early in his career, he was known for his portraits of Indian royalty and paintings of women, whom he painted in diaphanous clothes. After Ravi Varma, he became the most sought-after artist for oil portraits. His large oils of partially clothed or nude women, with their air of voyeuristic eroticism attracted the Maharajas of Jaipur, Bikaner, Kashmir, Patiala and other princely states as clients who threw open their palaces to him. Most commonly a single woman is seen in these works in wet drapery and idealised romantic settings, emphasizing their sensuous appeal.
In his last exhibition at the All India Exhibition, Calcutta in 1948, Majumdar presented rural Bengal life with amazing realism, a far cry from the royal portraits and beauties.