Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Abanindranath Tagore:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.



Abanindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary- 7th August.


About Abanindranath Tagore:

Abanindranath Tagore, the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore, was one of the most prominent artists of Bengal school of art in India. He was the first major supporter of swadeshi values in Indian art.



Contributions of Abanindranath Tagore towards Indian art and culture are:

  1. He first created the ‘Indian Society of Oriental Art’ and later went on to establish Bengal school of art.
  2. He believed that Indian art and its art forms gave importance to spirituality as opposed to the West which stressed on materialism, thus rejecting it.
  3. His idea of modernizing Mughal and Rajput paintings eventually gave rise to modern Indian painting, which took birth at his Bengal school of art.
  4. Most of his works revolved around Hindu philosophy.
  5. In his later works, Abanindranath started integrating Chinese and Japanese calligraphic traditions into his style. The intention behind this move was to construct an amalgamation of the modern pan-Asian artistic tradition and the common elements of Eastern artistic and spiritual culture.


Famous paintings are:

Bharat Mata, The Passing of Shah Jahan (1900), My Mother (1912–13), Fairyland illustration (1913), Journey’s End (circa 1913).


Contributions to Literature:

Abanindranath is also regarded as a proficient and accomplished writer. Most of his literary works were meant for children.

  • Some of his books like ‘BudoAngla’, ‘KhirerPutul’ and ‘Rajkahini’ are best examples of Bengali children’s literature.
  • William Rothenstein helped Rabindranath Tagore to publish his work ‘Gitanjali’ in English.
  • Arabian Nights series was one of his notable works.


Insta Curious:

Have you heard of Raja Ravi Varma? What are his contributions to Indian Art? Reference: read this.



Prelims Link:

  1. Indian Society of Oriental Art- objectives.
  2. About Bengal School of Art.
  3. Subjects of his paintings.
  4. His literary works.
  5. His famous paintings.

Mains Link:

Examine the evolution and salient features of Bengal School of Art.

Sources: the Hindu.