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Painting - Siva-puja
  • Siva-puja
    Tagore, Abanindranath, born 1871 - died 1951
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Siva-puja

  • Object:

    Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Bengal (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Tagore, Abanindranath, born 1871 - died 1951 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:

    IM.255-1921

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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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.

This painting depicts a young woman performing 'Shiva-Puja', worship of the Hindu god Shiva. She is dressed in a pale green and white sari seated on an animal skin placed on a low red charpoi. With her right hand she holds a tambura and with the her left she salutes a large black linga (representing Shiva) decked with red and white flowers. The night sky with a crescent moon can be seen in the background. This subject may represent the Ragini Bhairavi of the Raga Bhairava, a piece of music played at dawn in the months of September - October.

Physical description

Painting, watercolour on paper. This painting depicts a young woman performing Shiva-puja. She is dressed in a pale green and white sari seated on an animal skin placed on a low red charpoi. With her right hand she holds a tambura and with the her left she salutes a large black linga (representing Shiva) decked with red and white flowers. The night sky with a crescent moon can be seen in the background. This subject may represent the Ragini Bhairavi of the Raga Bhairava, a piece of music played at dawn in the months of September - October. On the internal margins there are some traces of golden paint. The signature of the artist is on the bottom left hand corner.

Place of Origin

Bengal (made)

Date

ca. 1900 (made)

Artist/maker

Tagore, Abanindranath, born 1871 - died 1951 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

Dimensions

Height: 12.6 cm, Width: 9.3 cm, Height: 17.5 cm Conservation paper upon which card is mounted, Width: 13.2 cm Conservation paper upon which card is mounted

Object history note

Bequest. RF 1921/4451. From the Collection of Sir R. Nathan (Office of the Private Secretary to the Viceroy Lord Curzon.) He is likely to have collected this between 1904 to 1905 when he was Private secretary to the Viceroy, from the Moulvi Muhammad Husain, Judge of Small Cause court, Delhi.

Historical context note

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.

Descriptive line

Painting, Siva-puja, by Abanindranath Tagore, painting, watercolour on paper, Bengal, ca. 1900

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Dr Ratan Parimoo, The paintings of the three great Tagores: Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore and Rabindranath Tagore. Chronology and comparative studies, 1973

Materials

Paper; Paint; Water-colour

Techniques

Painted

Subjects depicted

Tambura

Categories

Religion; Paintings; Hinduism

Collection code

SSEA

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