Abanindranath Tagore, was a Bengali poet, novelist

Abanindranath Tagore, the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore, was born on 7th August 1871. He was one of the most prominent artists of the Bengal school of painting, along with being the first major supporter of swadeshi values in Indian art. Abanindranath is also regarded as a proficient and accomplished writer. The painter tried to modernize Moghul and Rajput traditions as an answer to the growing influence of Western art under the British Raj. With this biography, we are trying to throw light on the life history of Abanindranath Tagore:

Abanindranath Tagore was born in the Jorasanko town of West Bengal. The younger brother of Gaganendranath Tagore, an eminent artist, Abanindranath was introduced to art in the 1880s when he was studying at the Sanskrit College. In the year 1889, he married Srimati Suhasini Devi, the daughter of Bhujagendra Bhusan Chatterjee. It was around this time that he left the Sanskrit College and joined St. Xavier’s College as a special student for one and a half years.

In 1897, the Vice-Principal of ‘Calcutta Government School of Art’ started teaching the traditional European academic manner to Abanindranath Tagore. During that time, Tagore developed an interest in watercolors and also came under the influence of Mughal art. He made some beautiful paintings based on the life of Lord Krishna, reflecting a strong influence of the Mughal style. A meeting with E.B. Havell convinced Abanindranath Tagore to work with him in the process of the renewal of the style of teaching at the Calcutta School of Art.

His Style

Abanindranath Tagore believed in the traditional Indian techniques of painting. His philosophy existed in rejecting the materialistic part of the west and coming back to the Indian traditional art forms. He was very much influenced by the Mughal School of painting as well as Whistler’s Aestheticism. In his later works, Abanindranath started integrating Chinese and Japanese calligraphic traditions into his style. The intention behind this move was to construct an amalgamation of the modern pan-Asian artistic tradition and the common aspects of Eastern spiritual and artistic culture.


45th Annual Media Art exhibit and craft fair in Media today

The 45th Annual Media Art Exhibit and Craft Fair will fill State Street in Media with unique, quality art and crafts, 9 to 4, this Sunday, June 6.

Well over 150 artists and fine craft people will come to town for what has become a welcome annual tradition. (Rain date is the following Sunday, June 13.)

Thousands of original works will be presented by exhibitors, many local and others from surrounding states. Their unique works will be featured for perusal, judging and purchase along State Street and Veterans Square in Media. (Both streets will be closed to traffic.)

Besides fine art and photography, there will be a variety of crafts including pottery, jewelry, woodcrafts, toys, wearable and decorative fiber art, Colonial crafts and more. Some of the exhibitors will demonstrate their crafts throughout the day.

State Street will be closed to traffic for the Art Show, allowing plenty of room to browse, bargain and buy while enjoying the early summer weather in the beautiful, “Victorian” atmosphere of Media. Many of Media’s unique shops will be open, and a variety of restaurants will offer al fresco dining.

For more information, call 610-583-4432, ext. 120. The show, sponsored by First Keystone Bank, is coordinated by Town Talk Newspapers.


Amrita Shergill is known for some exquisite pre-colonial paintings

Amrita Shergill, one of the most famous painters of India, was born on 30th January 1913 in Budapest city of Hungary. Her father, Umrao Singh Shergill Majithia was a Sikh aristocrat, who was a scholar in Sanskrit. Her mother was a Hungarian singer, Marie Antoinette Gottesmann. Amrita Shergil was the eldest of the two daughters born to her parents, her younger sister being Indira Sundaram, now the mother of the modern artist Vivan Sundaram. The beauty and depth of Amrita Sher Gil’s paintings have led to her being popularly called as ‘India’s Frida Kahlo’.

As Amrita Shergill’s biography and life history unfolds, we get to know that the painter spent her early childhood in the Dunaharasti village of Hungary. In the year 1921, her family shifted from Hungary to the beautiful hill station of Shimla. It was during her stay in Shimla that Amrita developed an interest in the art of painting and she started receiving tuitions from an Italian sculptor living there. When the painter moved back to Italy in 1924, Amrita and her mother also followed him. After reaching Italy, she joined Santa Anunciata, a Roman Catholic institution.

In Santa Anunciata, Amrita Shergil received exposure to the works of the Italian artists, which furthered her interest in painting. She also received formal training in painting at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, under Lucien Simon. During that time, she was greatly influenced by the European painters, like Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin. Her paintings reflect a strong influence of the Western modes of painting, especially the ones practiced in the Bohemian circles of Paris in the early 1930s.

Amrita Sher Gil returned to India in the year 1934 and from then onwards, began her never-ending journey in the field of the traditions of Indian art. In the country, she was influenced by the Mughal miniatures schools as well as the Ajanta paintings. Her journey of the southern parts of the Indian subcontinent resulted in her painting the famous South-Indian trilogy paintings.

Amrita married her Hungarian first cousin, Dr. Victor Egan, in 1938. Thereafter, she moved with her husband to her paternal family’s home in Gorakhpur city of Uttar Pradesh. Later, the couple shifted to Lahore city of, the then, undivided India. Amrita Shergil left this world in the year 1941.

Her Works & Achievements
Amrita Shergill was one of the most impressive as well as the most gifted Indian artists belonging to the pre-colonial era. She was also the youngest as well as the only Asian artist to be elected as an Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris. The paintings of Amrita Shergil show a significant influence of the Western modes of painting. Her works also reflect her deep passion and sense of colors. Her deep understanding of the Indian subjects also comes across through her paintings.

The works of Amrita Shergill have been declared as National Art Treasures by the Government of India. Most of her paintings adorn the ‘National Gallery of Modern Art’ in New Delhi. There is also a road named after the painter in Lutyen’s Delhi, known as the Amrita Shergill Marg.