Painting thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Painting

1920 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The scene is painted on a postcard. The landscape is depicted in grey-blue tones with mountains in the background and trees in the foreground. The watercolour is executed in a wash technique which makes the mountain and tree forms fairly indistinct but gives the painting an atmosphere of space and timelessness. The postcard was sent by the artist to Roop Krishna Esq at The India Society of Art, Room 12, Samavaya Mansion, Hoss St. Caluctta. Postmark dated 27 November 1920

Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951) was the pioneer and leading exponent of the Bengal School of Art. In his paintings, he sought to counter the influence of Western art as taught in art schools under the British Raj, by modernizing indigenous Moghul and Rajput traditions. His work became so influential that it was eventually accepted and regarded as a national Indian style. Later, studying Japanese art under Japanese artists, Taikoan and Hilsida, Abanindranath assimilated Far Eastern techniques such as the wash into his work.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Painted in watercolour on cardboard
Brief description
Painting, Himalayan landscape, by Abanindranath Tagore, watercolour on postcard, India, probably 1920
Physical description
Painting, a landscape in grey-blue and green-brown tones with mountains in the background and trees in the foreground. The painting is executed in a wash technique which makes the mountain and tree forms fairly indistinct but gives the painting an atmosphere of space and timelessness.

The postcard was sent by the artist to Roop Krishna Esq. at The India Society of Art, Room 12, Samavaya Mansion, Hoss St. Calcutta. Postmark dated 27 November 1920.
Dimensions
  • Height: 9cm
  • Width: 14cm
  • Conservation paper upon which card is mounted height: 15cm
  • Conservation paper upon which card is mounted width: 20cm
Object history
Purchase. RF 84/866. Purchased on behalf of the V&A by Indar Pasricha from Sotheby's on 18-04-84 together with I.S. 124 to 129 - 1984.
Historical context
Abanindranath Tagore (1871 - 1951) was the pioneer and leading exponent of the Bengal School of Art. In his paintings, he sought to counter the influence of Western art as taught in art schools under the British Raj, by modernizing indigenous Moghul and Rajput traditions. His work became so influential that it was eventually accepted and regarded as a national Indian style within British and international art institutions.

In his work, Abanindranath retrieved themes from the Indian epic past or scenes from romantic tales, such as Arabian Nights or Omar Khaiyam and reworked them in a highly romanticised style. The artist’s desire to emancipate Indian art from European influence was also fostered by Japanese artist Okakura Kakuzo, who visited him in 1902. Later, studying Japanese art under Japanese artists, Taikoan and Hilsida, Abanindranath assimilated Far Eastern techniques such as the wash into his work. His Omar Khaiyam series (1906-08) reflects such influences. Abanindranath’s use of colour was also highly personalized and found its appropriate language in two major techniques: wash and tempera.
Subject depicted
Summary
The scene is painted on a postcard. The landscape is depicted in grey-blue tones with mountains in the background and trees in the foreground. The watercolour is executed in a wash technique which makes the mountain and tree forms fairly indistinct but gives the painting an atmosphere of space and timelessness. The postcard was sent by the artist to Roop Krishna Esq at The India Society of Art, Room 12, Samavaya Mansion, Hoss St. Caluctta. Postmark dated 27 November 1920

Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951) was the pioneer and leading exponent of the Bengal School of Art. In his paintings, he sought to counter the influence of Western art as taught in art schools under the British Raj, by modernizing indigenous Moghul and Rajput traditions. His work became so influential that it was eventually accepted and regarded as a national Indian style. Later, studying Japanese art under Japanese artists, Taikoan and Hilsida, Abanindranath assimilated Far Eastern techniques such as the wash into his work.
Bibliographic reference
Dr Ratan Parimoo, The paintings of the three great Tagores: Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore and Rabindranath Tagore. Chronology and comparative studies, 1973
Collection
Accession number
IS.123-1984

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Record createdJuly 15, 2003
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