Ganesh Pyne was born in Calcutta in 1937. A shy introverted child, Pyne began sketching and doodling right from his childhood. After finishing school, he joined the Government College of Art & Craft in Calcutta. In 1959, he received his diploma in drawing and painting. In those early years, Pyne was greatly influenced by the brothers Abanindra Nath and Gaganendra Nath Tagore. He did watercolours. After graduating from art college, Pyne made a major decision of not going in for a full-time job. In the early 60s, he spent some part of the day sketching for the animated films made at Mandar Mullick studio. In 1963, he became a member of the newly-formed Society of Contemporary Artists. From then on, he regularly participated in the annual exhibition of the society with three temporal or mixed media till the late 80s. Pyne has seldom held a solo exhibition because he painted very few works in a year and these he needed to sell in order to survive. The first one-man show of private sketches from his workbook called Jottings (Preliminary Drawings for Paintings) was mounted by The Village Gallery in New Delhi. Subsequently, he had many more prestigious group shows. Among them the Paris Biennale in 1969, contemporary Indian Painting, West Germany in 1970, International Festival of Paintings in France, 1975, Contemporary Art of Asia, Japan, 1980, Modern Indian Paintings, U.S.A., Contemporary India Art, UK, Indische Kunst Heute, West Germany, 1982, Visits, Calcutta, 1986. Timeless Art, Bombay, 1989. Pyne has received many awards and is present in many public and private collections.
From watercolour, Pyne turned to gouache and then tempera since the mid-60s. It is from this time onwards that his figuration and palette also changed. A skeletal element was introduced into the figures while animal showed their fangs and claws. They were portrayed either as predators or victims. Dark shadows dominated his canvases offset with the use of a golden umber. Certain motifs surfaced repeatedly like boats, bits of bone, wood and other debris, dark doors and windows, Birdman, Chaitanya, the leader of the Bhakti movements, animals, daggers, and so on. Most canvases reflected the opposing pulls of death and life eternal. Pyne loves to do a varied treatment of the eyes are worth note.
Pyne lives and works in Calcutta.