Since time immemorial, we have grown up reading Rabindranath Tagore‘s works. We have always acknowledged and appreciated his works and he is regarded as one of the nest poets in India. But, little do we know about his artistic side. Besides writing, Tagore also indulges in painting! Infact even though he developed this hobby at the age of 63, the Rabindrabhavan at Viswabharati, Santiniketan houses 1580 Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore. This artistic side of Tagore was developed as a result of his doodling while writing poetry.
While Indians praised and chanted his poems, the Americans and the Europeans welcomed his paintings with open arms! His paintings were sent abroad and many exhibitions were organised. Tagore was quite pleased and contented with the kind of response that his paintings fetched. He felt that certain emotions could not be expressed in words. They had to be depicted via paintbrush and easel.
Tagore‘s paintings are simple, line based, almost monochromatic paintings with a strong and profound background and message. The Indian poet draws more than he paints. He uses ink, Indian ink and water – colours, and he has developed a special technique. He uses he pen normally and with the back side and also his fingers. Only recently has this poet – thinker ventured to enter into the field of painting. He thinks himself that he has reached the rhythm of the lines through the rhythm of thoughts and music.
And he says, “My pictures are verses in lines.”
His paintings has an essence of the entire world. From the Egyptian pyramids, to Greek Gods to Japanese woodcuts, they have it all! He has used all kinds of media ranging from pencil colors to poster colors to and has also been pretty liberal in selection of topics to draw. Golden yellow was Tagore’s favorite colour as it is the colour that resembles the golden rice fields of autumn, for which Tagore has an appreciative space in his mindset. Dark chocolate and black also have been profusely used in many of his paintings. He admitted that he was colour blind on red and green – the colours he sparsely used.
That Rabindranath Tagore is a great poet, may stand in the way of acknowledging him as a great artist. But few, since time immemorial, were the masters who gave dynamic form to their most personal vision. If this vision has for its background the depth of the poet’s mind, it is not difficult to know what place his work occupies in the world of art.