Abanindranath Tagore

(1871 - 1951) Born in 1871 at Jorasanko. Abanindranath was the son of artist Gunendranath Tagore. He was educated at the Sanskrit College, Kolkata. Abanindranath was a self-trained artist and although he entered into the art world at a later age, he matured as a painter very soon time, absorbing ideas and developing his own oeuvre. His work has a great delicacy of feeling, unity of concept, a highly sensitive range of color, tone, texture and poetic depth. He was soon regarded as the father of India's modern art. This probably was the influence and training he received from Italian artist Signior Chilardi, Vice Principal of Government School of art and with English Painter Charles Palmer. In 1905, he came into contact with Japanese artists Tikan and Hesida and he learnt the wash method in watercolor from them. In the same year, he laid the foundation for the Bengal school of Indian painting, where he finally led the revivalist movement in the field of modern Indian paintings. He aimed at comparing nature in its transient forms and produce an image part object, part sensuous, both transposed into each other. Abanindranath's talent with the brush and his unorthodox teaching methods earned him the position of a Vice-Principal at the Government College of Art at Kolkata, under Dr E B Havell. Apart from his early connection as Vice-Principal, Government School of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata, he founded the Indian Society of Oriental Art, Kolkata (1907); Bageswari, Professor of Fine Arts, Kolkata University (1923-24). His works are declared as National Art Treasures. The largest number of paintings by Abanindranath - over 500 - forms a part of Rabindra Bharati Society's collection at Jorasanko, Kolkata. Abanindranath's paintings were exhibited in London and Paris in 1913, followed by another international exhibition in Japan in 1919. His appreciative audience included Rodin and Rothenstein. The influence of Abanindranath on modern Indian art is profound and under his guidance a new generation of painters- Nandalal Bose, Asit Halder, Kshitindranath Majumder and Jamini Roy - brought about a revival in Indian art. He died on 5th December 1951.