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Not currently on display at the V&A

Asoka's Queen

Print
ca. 1910 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The scene depicts the graceful figure of Asoka's Queen standing in front of the railings of the Buddhist monument at Sanchi built during the reign of her husband King Asoka. The print is based on an original painting held in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Chromoxylograph, reproduction of a watercolour
Brief Description
Painting reproduction, 'Asoka's Queen' by Abanindranath Tagore, chromoxylograph, Bengal, ca. 1910
Physical Description
Reproduction of a watercolour, this image depicts the graceful figure of Asoka's Queen standing in front of the railings of the Buddhist monument at Sanchi, built during the reign of her husband King Asoka. The chromoxylograph was probably printed in Japan from wood-blocks.
Dimensions
  • Height: 25.2cm
  • Width: 19cm
  • Paper upon which card is mounted height: 40.5cm
  • Paper upon which card is mounted width: 32.4cm
Content description
Asoka's Queen standing in front of the railings of the Buddhist monument at Sanchi.
Marks and Inscriptions
Bengali signature on left hand corner. (On reverse see Indian Society of Oriental Art, Calcutta stamp.)
Credit line
Given by Lady Sonia Wilson
Object history
Gift. RF 51/3488. From the collection of Sir E. B. Havell. Given by Lady Sonia Wilson, daughter of E.B.Havell

The print is based on an original painting held in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.
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.



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 depicts the graceful figure of Asoka's Queen standing in front of the railings of the Buddhist monument at Sanchi built during the reign of her husband King Asoka. The print is based on an original painting held in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.



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.
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.308-1951

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record createdJuly 18, 2003
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