National Gallery of Modern Art has organised a virtual tour titled “The Great Maestro | Abanindranath Tagore” to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Abanindranath Tagore on 7th August 2020.
Who was ‘Abanindranath Tagore’?
- Abanindranath Tagore, the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore, was one of the most prominent artists of India.
- He was the first major supporter of swadeshi values in Indian Art. Abanindranath first created the ‘Indian Society of Oriental Art’ and later went on to establish Bengal school of Art.
- His sole aim for establishing the school was to counter the English influence on Indian artists.
- He did that by incorporating Indian elements in his works and achieved success when British art institutions gave in and accepted to teach and propagate his style of works in their organisations.
- His idea of modernising Mughal and Rajput paintings eventually gave rise to modern Indian painting, which took birth at his Bengal school of art.
- Abanindranath is also regarded as a proficient and accomplished writer. Most of his literary works were meant for children. Some of his books like ‘BudoAngla’, ‘Khirer Putul’ and ‘Rajkahini’ are best examples of Bengali children’s literature.
Work of Abanindranath Tagore
- He was very much influenced by the Mughal School of painting as well as Whistler’s Aestheticism.
- In his later works, Abanindranath started integrating Chinese and Japanese calligraphic traditions into his style. The intention behind this move was to construct an amalgamation of the modern pan-Asian artistic tradition and the common elements of Eastern artistic and spiritual culture.
- Ganesh Janani, Bharat Mata, The Victory of Buddha are some of his prominent and famous paintings etc.
- He liked to paint sets of images dealing with a theme or a text such as the ‘Arabian Nights’ or the ‘Krishna Leela’.
- As a modernist at heart who was guided more by his sensibility than his training, he transformed the post-Renaissance academic realism into which he was trained with his series of contacts with oriental art into something more supple and responsive to the imaginative flights of his mind.