Indian artist

The Multitalented Indian Artist: Rabindranath Tagore

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Rabindranath Tagore was known for the articulation of thoughts through different mediums such as poetry, short stories, songs, and paintings. He composed the National; Anthem of India and was the first non-European and an Indian to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 1913 for his collection of spiritual hymns, Geetanjali. This Indian artist is revered and respected across the length and breadth of India with no exception.

Rabindranath Tagore was a revolution that swayed the world in the 1900s. His refreshing and rebellious ideas shook the foundation of society. Through his short stories and novels, he tried to present an untamed and unfettered side of feminine force. The female protagonist of his stories showed ladies laden with virtues of great resolve and courage. His satirical short stories like the Totakahani pulls off a jibe at the existing education system that confines the creativity of a child in the walls of classrooms, textbooks, marks, success, and the pressure of performing.

He did a world tour delivering lectures in places like Japan and the United States. He also wrote a national anthem for Bangladesh named ‘Amar Shonar Bangla.’ It is pertinent to note that the national anthem of Sri Lanka was based on one of his eulogies.

Rabindranath Tagore’s Childhood

He took birth on 7th May 1861 at the Jorasanko Mansion in Calcutta, West Bengal. His parents were Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi. He had twelve brothers and sisters and those were all elder to him. He was born into a rich family and was raised by maids and servants because his mother passed away in his tender years. His father had to travel a lot and was mostly away from home due to work.

A child prodigy

He started showing his signs of becoming one of the prominent figures history has ever seen at an early age of eight. Till he completed the age of sixteen years, he had become a prodigy in art and literature. He published his first work under an alias Bhanusimha. He published a short story soon after that by the name of ‘Bhikharini’ in the year 1877. His collection of poems published in the year 1882 is known as Sandhya Sangeet.

Major influences on his work

He was very fond of classics. Poetic dramas of Kalidasa were his favorites and the major source of inspiration for his works. He has written in Bengali and also translated his works into English. It is apparent from his works that his brothers and sisters also had a great influence on his creativity and imagination. He along with his siblings were home tutored. Dwijendranath was a poet and philosopher. Satyendranath Tagore had a position as that of a statesman in the political background of Calcutta. Swarnakumar was his sister. She was known for being a successful novelist. 

His siblings had played a significant role in the all-round development of his personality. He was trained by them in various fields like martial arts, mathematics, literature art, gymnastics, history, and anatomy. He went on a tour of India with his father in the year 1873 for a long time.

He was a quick learner and he saw various facets of myriad things and learned a great deal in a short time while on this trip. At Amritsar, he was intrigued by the theology of Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhism left a deep imprint on his mind that made him write six poems and other works of literature eulogizing the religion.

Tagore- The eclectic painter

He tried his luck with art and painting at the age of sixty years. His paintings had abstract themes and patterns. This was not a widely accepted and critically acclaimed genre of art at that time in India. But, because of eclectic motifs and subject-matter of his paintings, they were displayed and spoken of very highly all around the European continent.

His singular and aesthetically distinctive art

His singular art had distinctive features of undulating aestheticism and palette choice. His art showed the patterns of Malanggan people who reside in the northern parts of New Ireland. Like this, he was also mesmerized with the Haida carvings practiced on the Western coast of Canada and the skill of depicting creativity on woodcuts from Max Pechstein. His one hundred and two artworks in New Delhi are housed by the prestigious National Gallery of Modern Art.

His journey with painting started with doodling with pen on paper-driven by his intuitions, memories, and imagination. Often his doodling reflected forms that were crude and having a resemblance to some creature that was a result of his wild imagination. His childhood was spent in the motherly fold of nature. So, many of his landscapes were filled with an eerie feeling of silence. His longanimity and grief reflected in his artwork. Rabindranath Tagore, though mostly known for his literary works, he is respected and his works are lauded for his support.


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