(1861 - 1941)
Rabindranath Tagore was active/lived in India. Rabindranath Tagore is known for painting.
Biography from Bonhams Bond Street
Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in
Literature in 1913, was a renowned poet and artist. In retaliation to
the conventional educational establishments in Bengal, Rabindranath
Tagore founded an Ashram in Santiniketan in 1901. Its core principles
was to develop an anti-colonial artistic and literary aesthetic
connected to India's heritage. His aim was to create a dynamic and fluid
learning environment removed from the parrot learning by wrote styles
Biography from Sotheby's New York
Tagore's elite status served to attract rising
artists to Santiniketan and its avant-garde teaching style created a
distinctive type of schooling. A well known associate of
Rabindranath's nephew, Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose was chosen by
Rabindranath to direct the aesthetic side of his educational program at
Santiniketan. Abanindranath Tagore established a separate movement in
Calcutta, which looked to Mughal miniature painting style for
inspiration. Rabindranath's intellectual retreat, under the leadership
of Nandalal Bose, focused instead on folk traditions of traveling
minstrels or patuas, sculpture and Kalighat temple paintings.
Ashram was host to a number of Chinese and Japanese artists and in 1924
Nandalal Bose accompanied Rabindranath to Japan. Influenced by Japanese
ink technique and brushwork the school developed a pan Asian identity. These
two works come from the collection of L.T.P.
Manjusri. Manjusri was a founder of the 43 Group of artists in Colombo,
Sri Lanka. Originally a Buddhist monk, Manjusri initially went to
Santiniketan to study Chinese. It was here that he was influenced by
Bose and other artists. His relationship with Nandalal Bose is
well documented. Postcards and sketches by Bose are shown from
Manjusri's time at Santiniketan.
Manjusri is remembered for his
meticulous work in the documentation and preservation of temple murals.
He would spend weeks in temples in order to reproduce the frescoes in
colour and he returned to Santiniketan with copies of seven murals.
Tagore, who had taken up painting at the age of 68, was having an
exhibition of his work at the school. Upon seeing Manjusri's
reproductions, Tagore insisted that one side of the exhibition room be
reserved to display these temple murals. Manjusri returned to Sri
Lanka in 1949 and continued the rest of his life as a painter and
collector. It is from his esteemed collection that we bring you two
exceptional works by the great Rabindranath Tagore.
Rabindranath Tagore's self-portraits first appeared in 1932. The artist's approach to
the depiction of himself is discussed by Ratan Parimoo, who identifies a
number of drawings based on well-known photographs of Tagore. Parimoo raises the question as
to whether Tagore was 'fascinated by his own face as an interesting
model or is he obsessed with his own self?' (ibid, p. 487) He concludes
that the self-portraits represent his own Jibandebata, his
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"If among the innumerable objects in this world there be a
few that come under the full illumination of our soul and thus assume
reality for us, they constantly cry to our creative mind for a permanent
representation. They belong to the same domain as the desire of ours
which represents the longing for the permanence of our own self."
(Rabindranath Tagore, The Religion of an Artist, 1933).
Tagore's self-portraits 'have a prophet-like serenity as well as an inner anguish.' (R. Parimoo, Art of Three Tagores, From Revival to Modernity, Kumar Gallery, New Delhi, 2011, p.488) Not too many of his self-portraits exist, making these works very rare and special.
R. Parimoo, Art of Three Tagores, From Revival to Modernity,
Kumar Gallery, New Delhi, 2011, p. 485
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