Inside the Forgotten Rabindranath Tagore Painting Gallery

The Bengali Polymath, Rabindranath Tagore is widely known for his stories and poetry but few know about his art of painting. Study his style and 5 of his artworks.

Rabindranath Tagore Painting

Talking about the glorious works of Rabindranath Tagore always inspires us to be at our best. Surprisingly, age is just a number is best proved by Rabo when he started his career in art in his 60s due to his reason that some of his writing can’t express those emotions which he displayed the best on canvas. A Nobel Prize winner in 1913, he belongs to an affluent family in Bengal with an acute sensibility toward literature, poetry, social reforms, dance, and music. Rabo is a multi-faceted personality who had no training in art but left 2500 pieces of artwork in the last 15 years due to his extraordinary imaginative spontaneity of the visual library. The stories about his early life and poems in English here convey the impression that there is a deep understanding of the artist’s views on life in his artwork. The article intends to know inspiration, style and more information about Rabindranath Tagore Painting.

A Brief Account of Rabo’s Art Style.

Leonard Elmhirst and Rabindranath Tagore

Amid the growing Bengal movement of art, he encouraged his brothers Abanindranath and Gagendranath to create their best contributions whereas he didn’t pick the brush but instead doodled freely through his pen. His manuscripts bear simple and amble designs or testimonies to his doodle art. When we check the inspiration behind his work, it is due to the severities he suffered in his life. When he was young, he lost his mother, and then the only female bond in his early life, his beloved friend and sister-in-law Kadambari Devi, abruptly took her life at the age of 22, causing further misery to him. In 1902-1907, he lost his wife, daughter, and youngest son. The bleak emotional state of loneliness and the passing away of his loved ones are articulated in his works like Mahua and Purabi.

Rabindranath Tagore painting by Abanindranath Tagore

Furthermore, we will see that in his mature years of artwork, he achieved an individual style of expressionism that was similar to European Modernism which brought modernity to Indian art. His paintings display his immense allurement towards primitive and Japanese art alongside. The speciality of work in his artwork is the expressions, handling of lines, and aberrant colour use other than red and green. There is an absorbing fact about his paintings that his doodling is like the lyrics of his literary poems that say something meaningful about spiritualism and embraces the materialistic world. In Europe, his artworks are seen as mystic and have a spiritual meaning.

ArtistRabindranath Tagore
Birth7 May, 1861
Death7 August, 1941
PeriodModern India

Now that we know a little bit about his style and the meaning behind his work, let us explore the gallery of Rabindranath Tagore Painting, our favourite.

5 Masterpieces From Rabindranath Tagore Painting Collection.

Rabindranath Tagore Study Shantiniketan

1. Bird Fantastic.

Rabo was always close to nature and a great observant of it, or you can say that they had quick and meaningful conversations with him. Carrying this pot of knowledge, we know that his first art was doodling. Now, most of his doodles represent animals, but we do not know whether they exist in reality. He describes it as,

“a probable animal that had unaccountably missed its chance of existence or a bird that only can sour in our dreams.”

Here, in this painting, we see the detailed careful handling of lines with a representation of a living animal movement on an imaginary body. The portrait has an intense psychological effect with a complex vision. The rhythms of lines and their movement are breathtaking with the careful aberrant color of use. The quest for this rhythm of lines is the dominating character of Chinese and Japanese art, which has a dynamic motion and a solitary stillness. If you see them more closely, you crave the intensity of focus to understand them. Throughout the Universe, numerous tiny particles collide to produce energy and form entities by compressing. This cosmos-making is visible here in this artwork through simple but intense colors.

Bird Fantastic painting by Rabindranath Tagore

2. Landscape.

Having grown up on his family’s farm, he experienced childhood memories filled with the wonders of nature. When he laid these memories on a paper, it took an art form, connecting and felt like a world drowned in the shining sky of the evening sunlight. In those peaceful conversations with nature, he resembled the longing for companionship and his gloomy days filled with solitude. Therefore, his landscape paintings display the serene and silence behind the colors. They remark on the geometrical flatness that has the least to modulate with color tones.

There is a stronger feeling of humanity in every landscape painting he created. In his last phase of life, visual art embeds the new identity of color, shapes, and lines. It is also visible that he did not create the first sketches or preparatory drawings; instead, he directly laid everything down with his brush strokes on paper.

The intermixing skies of orange and blue that represent the arrival of the night after shining dawn with the colorful shades of trees and waters: is mesmerizing. This Rabindranath Tagore Painting is made for those who find usual peace and serenity in the nature and one who have those deep conversations with it.

3. Dancing Woman.

Rabo was a social reformer who believed in the freedom of women. He observed throughout his life that in India: a woman had the status of a goddess, but he never drew the portraits carrying the same feeling. Why? In one of the songs, keno cheye aachho go ma (why are you staring, o, mother), he showed the agony and misery of these devi or women. A woman’s identity is often determined by her marital status, virginity, ethnicity, and race, but is it really about her? Rabindranath Tagore drew women in bold, dreamy, asexual, that stare us in agony, needing more attention. The status of women is that they are treated like objects who must do everything they can in support of their families and husbands. She can’t live on her terms and is depressed by the patriarchial society, targeting the circles of social evils. Here the artist wanted to depict the beautiful woman dancing freely in her virtual world, breaking all the boundaries and setting herself free from every misery. The bold look of the lady in the attire is the expression of freedom and love for herself. The Rabindranath Tagore painting emphasising those dark veils behind the woman misery.

4. Woman’s Face.

Rabindranath Tagore’s fascination for the beautiful and unusual expression of faces is the depiction of masks and portraits. Throughout his travel to Bali, Indonesia, and Japan, the cultural interchange made him inspired to draw these faces. They often resemble the feeling of humor, sorrow, anger, fear, wit, dreams, and a smile.

Here in this artwork, the innocent and gloomy eyes show her miserable condition and inability to express herself. Furthermore, she drapes herself with a sari that indicates the Bengali attire of the woman. The melancholic face reveals the sufferings she had with the pain ceased.

Woman's Face Rabindranath Tagore Painting

5. Head Study (Geometric).

From the sketch, Rabo has consistent lines that witness a dramatic twist in the figure. The sharp nose with the blind eyes and the head consisting of various shapes and figures are bearing witness to the memories. The demise of his loved ones left a mark in the form of those painful memories, which he consisted in his head. The black ink with the hues of black shades in the dark moments in life. This Rabindranath Tagore Painting is the masterpiece which details the human brain consisting of all those moments of love, peace, anxiety, agony and despair.

Head Study (Geometric) painting by Rabindranath Tagore


The Bengali culture is brimful with the legacies of Rabindranath Tagore. His paintings that were mystical and have something intense and emotional sentimental is no less than an inspiration and a depiction of the social evils. The Guru has carefully focussed on each state of the surroundings and expresses them in the best way with a dominating work on women. With these Rabindranath Tagore Painting, we would like to conclude this article by bowing our heads concerning his works. Is there a painting that you could relate things to? Let us know in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Which painting is Rabindranath Tagore famous for?

Rabindranath Tagore was famous for his doodle artworks that showed expressionism. His paintings were inspired by the spiritual and materialistic world, making him a mystic figure in Europe.

How many paintings did Rabindranath Tagore have?

The Bengali Polymath started painting in his 60s and left behind 2500 artworks. Tagore never used brushes and relied upon pen to make art. He used to give only a single seating to complete each painting.

Did Rabindranath Tagore paint?

Rabindranath Tagore started painting when he felt some of his writings couldn’t express the emotions that his artworks did. He painted 2500 paintings in the last 15 years of his life. His style was similar to European Modernism which brought modernity to Indian Art.

What type of artist is Rabindranath Tagore?

Rabindranath Tagore used contextual modernism to reshape Indian literature, music and art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His art forms were inspired by instances of his life and had a spiritual meaning.

What is Tagore known for?

Rabindranath Tagore is best known for his contribution to Indian literature, music and art. He was a man with many talents who won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, making him the first non-European to win it.

Where did Rabindranath Tagore’s first painting exhibition?

Rabindranath Tagore held the first public and international exhibition of his paintings in Paris in 1930, at the Gallerie Pigalle.

What is the contribution of Rabindranath Tagore to Indian art?

Rabindranath Tagore learnt painting by watching his nephews Abanindranath and Gaganendranath. During the last 15 years of his life, he doodled to express his emotions and brought modernity to Indian art.

Who was a poet as well as a noted painter?

Rabindranath Tagore wrote several famous poems, one of which also won a Nobel Prize in 1913. In his later life, he was also known for his contribution to Indian art as he made a total of 2500 artworks.

Is Rabindranath colour blind?

Rabindranath Tagore suffered from a partial colour deficiency called Protanopia. Commonly referred to as blindness to red, Protanopia is a state where a person sees more green than red.

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