Lot 207
  • 207

Abanindranath Tagore (1867 - 1938)

30,000 - 40,000 USD
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  • Abanindranath Tagore
  • The Death of Rabindranath Tagore
  • Signed in Bengali lower left
  • Watercolour on paper
  • 11 by 7½ in. (28 by 19 cm.)


From the collection of Giles Eyre

Catalogue Note

A noted figure of the Bengal Renaissance and the founder of the Bengal School, Abanindranath Tagore is credited with establishing the earliest brand of "Indian modernism," which rejected the Western 'Imperialist' precepts of painting in favor of a 'pan-Asian' philosophy of creating art.

Born in 1871 to the illustrious Tagore family of Jorsanko, Aban, as he was known, grew up in an environment that fostered creativity. Ever the iconoclast, Aban eschewed formal training in art from an early age. Later he took lessons from acclaimed English artist Charles Palmer, who encouraged him to adopt watercolor as his medium, and then became a protégé of E. B. Havell, Principal of the Calcutta School of Art, who encouraged him to seek inspiration from Mughal paintings, which represented his own heritage.

Aban's artistic style was crystallized after his encounter with Japanese ink paintings, which exerted an enormous influence on an entire generation of Bengal School artists. Aban achieved mastery in this medium employing pale color washes in an expressionistic manner to achieve a dreamlike lyricism in his paintings. The current work depicting his uncle Rabindranath Tagore lying in state captures the mystical spirit of the great poet-philosopher.  

This rare painting is one of two known works depicting the subject.