The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 16, 2024

Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore

(British, 1876–1953)
Catalogue raisonné: Dodgson (Guichard) 371
Location: not on view


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.
  • Indian Gallery 242b Rotation – November 2017-April 2018. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer) (November 10, 2017-April 16, 2018).
  • {{cite web|title=Rabindranath Tagore|url=false|author=Muirhead Bone|year=1920|access-date=16 April 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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