Rabindranath Tagore


Tagore, a Pirali Brahmin (7th May 1861 – 7th August 1941) was popularly known as ‘Gurudev’. Hein the essence was a Bengali polymath who was into writing, composing, singing as well as painting.

Rabindranath was born and brought-up in Calcutta and had his ancestral roots in Jessore. He was the youngest of 13 children and dwelled in the Jorasanko mansion of Calcutta. His father, Debendranath Tagore (1817–1905) was a dear friend of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, a renowned social activist and formulated the Brahmoist philosophies. His mother’s name was Sarada Devi (1830–1875).

Popularly known as ‘Rabi’, Rabindranath Tagore lost his mother at a very young age and was mostly raised by servants.

Tagore mostly dodged classroom schooling; he rather roamed the manor or nearby Bolpur and Panihati idylls. His brother Hemendranath was his sports coach-cum-tutor. Through home-tutoring, Rabi picked up drawing, anatomy, geography, history, literature, Sanskrit, English and Mathematics. His father also tutored him during his spare time and took him along for month long tours of the British Raj. He began painting at the age of 60.

Education & Work

Rabindranath was highly motivated by the paintings of his brother Jyotindranath. After becoming a renowned poet and lyricist, Rabi inaugurated the ‘Kala Bhavan’, which was a wing dedicated to Indian art. This gallery was a part of his innovative Vishwa Bharati University situated in Santiniketan. The Kala Bhavan was Tagore’s way of mourning the Jallianwalabagh massacre.

Since Tagore had not undergone any formal training in art, he gave Indian art a verge over former skillful painting styles. The usage of lines and colors in his works was distinctive and his interest in the filed amplified. With time, he spawned 2500 odd oeuvres and most of them are unspoiled till date; thanks to the colonnade at Viswa Bharati, Santiniketan. He made every one of his strokes of genius a brand new form of expression; after all, the concord of lines and colors were unlike his usual poetry and songs. Besides, he acquired a new-fangled medium to reconnoiter obscurity and enigma.

Some of his commended works are his self-portraits. They depict his search for the ‘self’ thereby throwing light on a new wing of his psychological needs. These masterworks also demonstrate that as a creative person, he left no stones unturned to explore into primitive art forms. He was also a prodigious manipulator of techniques such as form-distortion, use of colors etc. Besides, his works also depict that Tagore was enthused by the contemporary conjectures, mysticism and reality; together they have found a countenance on his canvases.

Most of Tagore’s masterpieces illustrate silence as the central theme. Around this core idea, he splish-splashes colors &sensations as well as seasons& spices through an extraordinary dimension. So an onlooker, who studies his works closely, will get to witness a strange surrealism and a inexplicable sensation.

Tagore, being an eminent writer and literature connoisseur, regularly had to travel abroad. During one of his visits to Paris in 1930, Tagore held his very first public exhibition at the Galleries Pigalle. Thereafter, he hosted several more such exhibitions.

Awards and Accolades

Tagore was the very first non-European to bag the prestigious Nobel Prize; he won this honors in Literature in the year 1913. In 1915, he was crowned a ‘Knight’ by the British which he later refused following the Jallian wala bagh massacre. Rabi also co-founded the Darting ton Hall School in Japan.

On 7th May 196, Indian Postage paid him a tribute by releasing a Stamp under his name. Several institutions in India and abroad have been opened by the Govt. of India, Govt. of WB and private firms to posthumously honors Tagore’s distinction.

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