Abanindranath’s Bharat Mata on display

: Bharat Mata, one of the most iconic paintings of Abanindranath Tagore, will be on display at the Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH) in the city next week.

This will be the first such public display of the painting in the past few decades at a landmark exhibition organised jointly by the VMH and the Rabindra Bharati Society where 123 paintings of Abanindranath Tagore will be exhibited for over a month.

Bharat Mata, Abanindranath Tagore’s work dating back to 1905 depicts a saffron clad woman, dressed like a sadhvi, holding a book, sheaves of paddy, a piece of white cloth and a garland in her four hands.

The painting is also considered significant because of its historical value and since it had helped in conceptualizing the idea of Bharat Mata (Mother India).

“The painting is an attempt of humanisation of ‘Bharat Mata’ where the mother is seeking liberation through her sons,” Jayanta Sengupta the secretary and curator of the VMH told The Hindu .

Historians say that Sister Nivedita, an admirer of the painting wanted to carry it from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to spread nationalist fervour among the people of the country

Nephew of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath is considered the foundational figure of the Bengal School of Art and is also hailed as the ‘father of modern Indian Art’.

“Sixteen paintings made by Abanindranath in his early years from the collection of the VMH and 107 paintings spanning five decades of his work from the collection of Rabindra Bharati Society, will be on display at the exhibition,” Mr Sengupta said.

Experts say that Abanindranath Tagore reinvented Rajput and Mughal miniature painting from the influence of western models of art.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 1:58:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/abanindranaths-bharat-mata-on-display/article6949692.ece

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