Widely known and esteemed poet Keshav Malik says about Manohar Kaul`s paintings-`There is a singer at the heart of the old earth/ and that ever the sun shimmers upon inland peaks and lakes; the moon waxes silver in his dark wake; there is some one, a spirit, whose joy is the infinite...` Manohar Kaul was an illustrious Kashmiri artist. His adroit brush works brought alive the splendour of Kashmir in his canvas. He is also counted as the first Indian artist to have completed painting amazingly well in the esteemed City & Guilds Institute London University Examination.
Manohar Kaul was born in 1925. Tension and violence in Kashmir valley was depicted responsibly through his paintings. But he consciously avoided the rebellion and unrest in them. In his own words, `I want to show everyone how beautiful Kashmir was. Only then will they get the strength to change it.` He also possesses a rare quality of evaluating the contemporaneous art vogues in the brightness of earlier arts. The intermix of Ancient, Folk, Mughal, Pahari and Rajasthani paintings with the western impressionist style is reflected throughout his paintings.
The mystic study of a land of vast beauty is reflected all through the landscape paintings of Manohar Kaul. The gravity of the sights that he has tried to capture was spread out in front of him. That was precisely why he sought recognition in not the bigger outlook of things, but in the bounded ones. Manohar Kaul always attempted to give respect to the smaller things of his paintings, like close-ups of stone and crystals; pristine glaciers; moss embraced rocks; a speck of white in a gray stone; the concurrence of a bright red flower in contrast to a dark brown rock; slices of sky; sharp lines of narrow gorges; the white mist wrapping the unrecognisable landscape; the interplay of light on the facade of a brook; lingam like stalactite shape and of course snow spread over sleepy valleys- everything was captured by the artist`s apprehensive eye. He has also acted as the ex- President and Chairman of All-India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS).