The Victoria Memorial Hall is proud to present this major exhibition of paintings of the great master Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951), the foundational figure of the Bengal school of Art, and widely hailed as the 'Father of Modern Indian Art'. Curated by Professor Ratan Parimoo, the Director of Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum of Indology and N. C. Mehta Gallery, Ahmedabad, and a leading expert of Tagore paintings, this exhibition - put together painstakingly from the combined collections of the Victoria Memorial Hall and Rabindra Bharati society - includes representative samples from Abanindranath's entire oeuvre, showcasing not only iconic works like Bharatmata and The Passing of Shah Jahan, but also works from his celebrated series of Krishna Lila, the Mangal Kavyas, The Arabian Nights, and his playful takes on Masks. Many of the works included in this exhibition will be on view to the public for the first time.
This painting depicts the final moments of Shah Jahan, a tempestuous young soldier become the emperor of Delhi, and nothing is wanting to the glory of his reign. An episode from his pathetic life in Agra fort, the bed of the dying man with the shoes and royal helmet on the side of the carpet. Jahanara weeps at her father’s feet with no royal service. An eerie silence prevails the whole scenario with the sound of gentle overlapping of water from the river below. The tranquil setting creates a pleasing arrangement among the dying emperor and his daughter.
The most unusual part of the painting on the wooden plaque in oil is the inlay work.The flat surfaces and smooth gradations of tone, the water and the climate are often exotic.
Later this was published as a litho print at Indian press, Allahabad in 1910. It was shown in Delhi Durbar exhibition of 1902-03.
One of the first purely Indian idea and form, the spirit of motherland, who gives faith and learning. This is one of the first wash painting. The young and full-bodied, four armed ascetic figure holding sheaf, cloth, palm leaf manuscript, and prayer lotus in her hands, was read as a nationalist mother-goddess granting the blessings of food, clothing, learning and spiritual strength on her children. It formed a image of swadeshi movement.
Due to the popularity this was printed in Lithographic process by the Indian press, Allahabad in 1910.
The great God, destroyer of Kama, with ashes spread out of the body here and there, coils of hair and snakes with a stream of light comes forth from the third eye of Mahadev from a flash light hidden on his hair. He is flat, fleshy and of slump posture unable to save the lover from the arrows of Kama, are some of the humoristic characters of the then Bengali plays in Calcutta.
The exhibition was curated by the eminent art historian Professor Ratan Parimoo, Director of the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum in Ahmedabad.