Prosanto Roy took to art at a young age, copying the paintings of the great masters. After initial training in art under a European teacher, Roy joined the Tagore residence at Jorasanko in the Twenties. Groomed by Gaganendranath and Abanindranath Tagore, he worked on stage design and illustrated student magazines. Roy’s initial inspiration was the Bengal School style of which he went on to become an exponent, known for his layers of delicate washes which he merged with a later, cubist language. Working with the wash technique, Roy brought architectural details into his painting in the manner of the Indian miniature paintings. Using Chinese ink, he could create intense proliferation of tonal degrees and gradations. He applied warm pigments and expanded them with cool tonalities, thus creating a vibrant pictorial space. Also interested in carpentry and photography, Prosanto Roy became the curator of the Kala Bhavana Museum, Santiniketan, in 1952.
Nature, old Calcutta, people and their preoccupations, and episodes from Oriental narratives formed his subjects, as well as a response on the horrific events of his time, such as the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.