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Rabindranath Tagore

1920
(British, 1876–1953)
Catalogue raisonné: Dodgson (Guichard) 371
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Description

Poet laureate and first Asian recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature, Tagore (1861–1941) was a leader of the nonviolent movement to free India from British rule. The artist has rendered Tagore’s face with penetrating realism and luxurious textures. In contrast, his body is left as a sketch, giving him an ethereal quality; his hand positions are evocative of the mudras, or symbolic gestures, of Indian holy men or divinities.

This portrait was probably made during Tagore’s 1920 visit to London from India to seek support for his new university in Bengal. For Tagore, however, the trip was overshadowed by his observation of British indifference to the 1919 massacre of hundreds of unarmed Indians in the Punjab by colonial forces. Tagore relinquished his knighthood and redoubled his efforts to lead India to independence.
Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore

1920

Muirhead Bone

(British, 1876–1953)
England, 20th century

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