Rabindranath Tagore with his family members

Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata
Kolkata, India

This photograph depicts Rabindranath Tagore with his family members.

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), the youngest son of Maharshi Debendranath, had intermittent schooling for a few years in Calcutta, but was well-grounded in Sanskrit and English in which he was tutored at home. At 17 he went to England, joined Brighton School and then the University College, London where he studied English Literature under Professor Henry Morley. His literary talents found free expression in poems, one of the earliest of which was in print in 1874. His writings in prose, songs and verses continued to flow incessantly. Before he was 18, he had composed nearly 7000 lines of verse and a great quantity of prose. His first historical novel, 'Bauthakuranir Hat' appeared in an issue of Bharati. The 'Sandhya Sangit' published in 1882 was warmly applauded by Bankim Chandra. In 1885 he took charge of the juvenile magazine, Balak.

He visited England for the second time in 1890. On return, he took up management of the family estate with headquarters at Shelaidaha, Bangladesh. Here he came into close contact with the people around him and gained a first-hand knowledge of the rural problems of the country.

He attended the sixth session of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta and sang the Bande Mataram. About this time he brought out a new journal, Sadhana, in collaboration with his nephew, Sudhindranath. His superb talents as a dramatist were first revealed in Bisarjan. Though absorbed in literary pursuits, Tagore took active interest in social, educational and political problems. In 1901 he founded the famous school at Santiniketan, providing an environment where the youthful mind "might expand into love of Beauty and God". He took a prominent part in the movement against the partition of Bengal, but soon after preferred retirement so as to devote his whole energies and talents to artistic and literary pursuits. His first book of religious poetry 'Naibedya' (1901) was followed in 1910 by 'Gitanjali'.

He was then on tour in Europe and the U.S.A. from where he returned to Santiniketan in the autumn of 1913 to learn that the Nobel Prize for Literature had been conferred on him. The British Government made him a Knight in 1915, but he renounced the honour four years later in protest against the Jalianwalla Bagh massacre. In 1915, he welcomed Gandhiji to his Ashram at Santiniketan and the friendship that sprang up between the two lasted till death parted them.

In the course of one of his seven trips abroad between 1920 and 1930 Tagore visited the U.S.S.R. whose recent achievements drew his warm appreciation. In 1931 his grateful countrymen presented him, on his 70th birthday, the 'Golden Book of Tagore', enriched with tributes from scholars and savants all over the world. In the same year, Tagore delivered his Hibbert Lectures on the 'Religion of Man'. For the next ten years till his death, he went on displaying, in full vigour and grace, his matchless creative talents in music, painting, and all aspects and forms of literature – prose, drama, short stories, novels, essays, and above all, poems and songs. He was "the completest man of art the world has ever known".


  • Title: Rabindranath Tagore with his family members
  • Location: Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata
  • Physical Dimensions: 51 x 58.5 cm
  • Provenance: Sri Jaladhar Naskar
  • Type: Photograph
  • Medium: Paper
  • Manufacturing Technique: Enlarged photograph
  • Gallery Name: N/A

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