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Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)

Lot 1: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) , Untitled Tempera on handmade paper


September 19, 2007
New York, NY, US

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Signed and dated in Bengali lower right Tempera on handmade paper


10 by 14 1/2 in. (25.5 by 37 cm.)


Acquired in Calcutta by the present owner's parents between 1930-1938


'People often ask me about the meaning of my pictures. I remain silent even as my pictures are. It is for them to express and not to explain.' (Rabindranath Tagore) Born in Calcutta into a wealthy Brahmo family Tagore went on to become one of the most revered poet-philosophers of his time. In 1913 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first non-Westerner to be honored with the award. A poet, author, playwright and artist, Tagore's creative output was immense. He took up painting at the age of sixty. His work was publicly displayed for the first time in Paris in 1930 followed by an exhibition in Calcutta in 1931. His early paintings were rendered in monochromatic schemes, followed by two-toned and three-toned drawings. The style of the current drawing suggests that it was painted in the mid-1930's which coincides with the period when the current owner's parents lived in India. Tagore in his article 'My Pictures' explains his paintings as follows, 'The Universe ... talks in the voice of pictures and dance...In a picture the artist creates the language of undoubted reality, and we are satisfied that we see. It may not be the representation of a beautiful woman but that of a common place donkey or of something that has no external credential of truth in nature but only in its own inner artistic significance.' (Extract from Poetseers.org in an essay on the painting of Tagore).

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Indian Art

September 19, 2007, 12:00 PM EST

New York, NY, US

For Sale from Sotheby's