Trained in the style of art known as the neo-Bengal School, Gopal Ghose was born in Kolkata in 1913. He became a legend in his lifetime for his ingenious handling of the quick and unpredictable medium of watercolor. To him goes the credit of raising its status in Indian art history, from a dabbler's medium to an artist's medium.
After obtaining a diploma in painting from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Jaipur in 1935, he formally trained in sculpture, from Government College of Art, Madras, where he studied under Debi Prasad Roy Choudhuri, known for his realistic style in his paintings and sculptures.
He was one of the founder members of the well-known Calcutta Group (1943). Proficient with several mediums, Ghose was adept not only with watercolor, but also with tempera, pen and ink, and brush and pastel. His economical technique of swift sweeping brushwork in his landscapes was especially admired, including by the likes of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Among his contemporaries, he stood out, both as a draughtsman and as a skilled water colorist.
Ghose taught at the Indian Society of Oriental Art, in Kolkata from 1940-45 and then joined the faculty of the Bengal Engineering College, Shibpur, where he taught architectural drawing. He was also the joint secretary of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata. The Indian landscape
fascinated him and he traveled extensively within the country on his bicycle. He also stayed in various Indian cities with diverse climates and terrains, including snow-peaked Simla, temperate Madras and holy Benares. He also traveled to Europe and America