Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore influenced the social and political scenario of modern India, thereby bringing about a period of national awakening. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913; and received a knighthood by the British in 1915, which he renounced in protest against the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. A renowned poet, writer, painter, reformer and a philosopher, he brought about the renaissance of regional literature in India. His work received global acclaim, lending wider visibility to India’s struggle for independence.

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Tagore gravitated towards the world of paintings in his late sixties, which was triggered by a deep sense of dissatisfaction with the language of words. Although Tagore did not receive any formal training in painting, the late biographer Prasanta Kumar Paul argued that Tagore, along with his peers, may have received some training in his childhood. Paul also noted that Tagore may have been influenced by Jyotirindranath Tagore (1849-1925). His first exhibition in Europe, in 1930, was well received by viewers. Many of his priceless works, which had been left behind, are placed alongside works of some of the most eminent artists of 20th century.

Rabindranath Tagore’s ashramic educational institution, Visva Bharati, saw a shift from the colonial to Indian architectural style. Tagore invited Surendranath Kar, who accompanied him in many of his travels to spend time in Santiniketan to create and design architectural plans under Tagore’s guidance. Tagore died at the age of eighty, on 7th August, 1941.

Source: The Tagore Triad, edited by Debdutta Gupta (Mapin Publishing & Akar Prakar)


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