Who is Abanindranath Tagore?
- He is the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore, helped shape modern Indian art and was the creator of the iconic ‘Bharat Mata’ painting.
- Abanindranath Tagore was arguably the first major exponent of an artistic idiom that sought to modernise the Mughal and the Rajput styles in order to counter the influence of Western models of art under the colonial regime
- His unique interpretation of swadeshi themes created a new awakening and heralded a revival of Indian art.
- Mughal miniatures influenced his ideas.
- Popular paintings by him are Bharat Mata, My Mother, Journey’s End, The Passing of Shah Jahan , series of work on Krishna Lila, The Arabian Nights etc.
- Popular books Written by him are Khirer Putul, Nalak, etc.
Bengal School of Art
- The Bengal School of Art commonly referred as Bengal School, was an art movement and a style of Indian painting that originated in Bengal, primarily Kolkata and Shantiniketan, and flourished throughout the Indian subcontinent, during the British Raj in the early 20th century.
- Also known as ‘Indian style of painting‘ in its early days, it was associated with Indian nationalism (swadeshi) and led by Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951), but was also promoted and supported by British arts administrators like E. B. Havell.
- During the British Raj, the traditional Indian approach towards painting had lost its identity. Since the traditional painting styles didn’t appeal to British tastes, they introduced a new form of painting in India in the late 1700s. Known as ‘Company Paintings’, specifically catering to British collectors, they captured India’s flora, fauna, ancient monuments, festivals, and ‘exotic new people’.
- Done mostly in watercolours, they were more documental than imaginative, characterized in technique by the use of linear perspectives and shading.
Why in News?
- Year-long celebrations marking 150 years of Abanindranath Tagore is set to kick off with a host of online workshops and talks paying tributes to the leading light of the Bengal School of Art.