Kolkata, Aug 7: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday paid tribute to pioneering artist and writer Abanindranath Tagore on his birth anniversary “Tribute to pioneering artist, and writer, Aban Thakur (Abanindranath Tagore) on his birth anniversary,” Ms Banerjee posted on her social networking page.
Born on this day in 1871 at Jorasanko, Abanindranath was the principal artist and creator of the "Indian Society of Oriental Art". He was a member of the distinguished Tagore family, and a nephew of the poet Rabindranath Tagore. His grandfather and his elder brother, Gaganendranath Tagore, were also artists.
Abanindranath was also the first major exponent of Swadeshi values in Indian art, thereby founding the influential Bengal school of art, which led to the development of modern Indian painting. Tagore was also a noted writer, particularly for children. Popularly known as 'Aban Thakur', his books Rajkahini, Budo Angla, Nalak, and Khirer Putul are landmarks in Bengali language children's literature.
Tagore sought to modernise Mughal and Rajput styles to counter the influence of Western models of art, as taught in art schools under the British Raj and developed the Indian style of painting, later known as Bengal school of art. Such was the success of Tagore's work that it was eventually accepted and promoted as a national Indian style within British art institutions under the epithet of Indian Society of Oriental Art.
His finest achievement however was the Arabian Night's series which was painted in 1930. In these paintings he uses the Arabian Nights stories as a trope for looking at colonial Calcutta and picturing its emergent cosmopolitanism. (UNI)