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Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)



June 15, 2010
London, United Kingdom

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RABINDRANATH TAGORE 1861 - 1941 UNTITLED (PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN) Signed 'Rabindra' and dated '38' in Bengali lower left 33 by 23 cm. (13 by 9 in.)


Calmann Gallery, London, December 1938

125th Anniversary Festival, Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, London, 1986

Rabindranath Tagore, Bengal Festival, Croydon Museum, UK, October 2000 - January 2001


Gifted by the artist to Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst of Dartington Hall in 1939


Born in Calcutta into a wealthy Brahmo family Rabindranath 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 honoured with the award. A poet, author, playwright and artist, Tagore's creative output was immense. His career as a painter dates from around 1928 though he is known to have drawn sketches throughout his career. What began as doodling on his working manuscripts became an obsession after 1930 and it is thought that in the last ten years of his life he produced over two thousand pictures. His work was publicly displayed for the first time in Paris in 1930 followed by an exhibition in Calcutta in 1931.

In many of his head studies there is an underlying sense of mysticism that has a mesmeric appeal. 'The pensive, ovoid face of a woman with large unwavering soulful eyes was perhaps a move obsessive theme than any other. Exhibited first in 1930, endless variations of the same mood-image continued to be emergent throughout. The earlier ones were delicately modelled and opalescent, while the later examples were excessively dramatic with intensely lit forehead, exaggerated nose-ridge, painted in strong colours, bodied forth from a primal gloom.' (Prithwish Neogy, Drawings and Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, 1961)

The Dartington Hall Trust will be hosting a series of events in 2011 to celebrate the 150υth celebration of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore with the possibility of exhibiting the current lot.

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Indian Art

June 15, 2010, 10:30 AM GMT

London, United Kingdom

For Sale from Sotheby's