Gaganendranath Tagore (1867 – 1938)

Born into the Tagore family in Kolkata, Gaganendranath Tagore as a self-taughtartist and nephew of the great Rabindranath Tagore.Gaganendranath had very little formal education; in fact he had a very short spellat the St Xavier’s School where he took a brief interest in drawing and painting anda briefer still one in academic studies. His interest in life and later art, was limitedto, and conditioned by his love for everything swadeshi.In 1907, he founded the Indian Society of Oriental Art along with his brotherAbanindranath Tagore, but Gaganendranath remained the moving spirit behind it.Coming form a political background, his work seems to be inspired and hisimagination carried away by anything Indian or Oriental. His earliest sketches and landscapes date back to 1905. While his landscapes bear a Japanese stamp – he wasinspired by Japanese artist Yokoyama Taikan. His work also shows a great influenceof experimentalist art prevalent in Europe in the late 1800’s. He was extremelyproficient in the European watercolor technique.During 1916-18, he evolved a new language of humor and satire in caricature.In 1923-28 he experimented with cubism, producing a series of pictures filled withblended geometric forms. He later developed his own brand of cubism, most of hiswork in the process moving towards geometric compositions.His work can thus be broadly divided into specific phases. Brush work withJapanese style, some with gold backgrounds, portrait sketches, illustrations forJeevan Smriti, water color sketches of rural Bengal, the Himalayan studies, theChaitanya series, caricatures of Indian life, his semi-cubistic experiments, picturesof folk lore and representations of the symbolism of death and the other world.


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