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Abanindranath Tagore: The ‘Tagore’ Who Gave A New Identity To The Indian Paintings

Abanindranath Tagore: The ‘Tagore’ Who Gave A New Identity To The Indian Paintings


Abanindranath Tagore is a part of the prestigious Tagore family. The family holds the credit of providing many gems to the nation who contributed a lot to philosophy, literature, art, mathematics, music, and what not! Read on to know more about this great artist:

1. Born to parents Gunendranath Tagore and Saudamini Tagore in Jorasanko, a neighbourhood of North Kolkata in West Bengal, on 7th August 1871. Abanindranath Tagore was an Indian artist and painter. His father was a musician and a theatre personality.

Abanindranath Tagore

via statesman

2. His mother was the sister of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, and his grandfather, Girindranath Tagore, was the second son of Prince Dwarkanath Tagore. His elder brother Gaganendranath Tagore and his grandfather were also artists.

Parents Of Abinandranath Tagore

via prababook

3. His first encounter with learning art began with Sanskrit College in Kolkata in 1880. He studied here for 9-years, post which he got married to Suhasini Devi and left the college in 1889.

4. After leaving Sanskrit College in 1889, Tagore studied English at St Xavier’s College, Kolkata, for nearly 18 months. Then, in 1890, Abanindranath enrolled himself at the Government College of Art & Craft, Kolkata. He was only 20-years-old!

5. Two European artists, Charles Palmer and O Ghilardi, became new teachers of Tagore at Calcutta School of Art. While Palmer helped him brush up his skills in oil painting, Ghilardi taught Tagore how to paint with pastels.

6. His professional career in painting began in 1890. Some of his work got published in the magazines like Sadhana, Chitrangada and the writings of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. Since Abanindranath was a writer as well, he used his artworks in his own books as well.

Work Of Abinandranath Tagore

via stirworld

7. He learned more about art from the vice-principal of the Government College of Art & Craft in 1897, emphasizing watercolour painting. During this period, he also got interested in the Mughal style of painting, using them in his works based on the life of Lord Krishna.

Mughal Style Painting By Abanindranath Tagore

via twitter

8. Abanindranath Tagore found the western painting style to be very materialistic. After 1897, he met Ernest Binfield Havell, who also thought that India’s spiritual essence lay in their native painting style. Hence, both united for a common purpose, the revival and popularization of Indian art forms.

Meeting Of Abanindranath Tagore with Ernest Binfield Havell

Image credits

9. The efforts of both were supported by many people, including Abanindranath Tagore’s brother, Gaganendranath Tagore. The two brothers established the Indian Society of Oriental Art in Calcutta in 1907. Abanindranath painted multiple artworks influenced by Mughal art to popularize Indian art forms.

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10. Through the success of his work, Tagore got introduced to Okakura Kakuzō and Yokoyama Taikan, two Japanese artists. He got inspired by them and brought the Japanese wash technique of painting to India to establish a pan-Asian aesthetic.

11. Tagore was trained in many forms of painting and learned new painting techniques throughout his life. Some of his notable artworks were Journey’s End, The Passing of Shah Jahan, Bharat Mata, Ganesh Janani and Asoka’s Queen.

Depiction Of Bharat Mata

via wikipedia

After contributing so much to Indian art, Abanindranath Tagore took his last breath on 5th December 1951.

Blog Edited By Ritika Gupta

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