I think that the satirizing of the 'babu' is also part of the efforts of the middle class towards self-criticism, if not leading to social improvement but certainly to face the facts and laugh at human weakness.6 The babu's mentality of looking like and being accepted as a Gora or white sahib has been satirized in several witty drawings by Gaganendranath. Gaganendranath Tagore (India, 1867-1938) The Illumination of the Shadow, watercolour and oil on card. He is known for the portfolio of cartoons Birupa Bajra, a merciless satire of contemporary Bengal society, and the witty caricatures of Adbhut Lok, published as Realm of the Absurd. Naturally everyone was eager to know the poet's opinion on the momentous stage of the independence struggle, but he was air-borne or flying in the sky. In the elaborately titled piece, ‘By the sweat of my brow, I tried to be mistaken for a sahib but still, that man called me baboo’ we see a member of the urban elite profusely sweating because of his failure to adopt the Western garb. This technique of scrutinizing the limits of caricatural distortion translates to an exercise in generating critical space. The clothes in his suitcase are in a mess, one of his socks is lost, and the coachman is looking at him grimacingly; the entire situation reflects his failure. Gaganendranath Tagore and the Political Aesthetics of Caricature T he widespread global political mayhem marked by bigotry and half-witted extremism works … This period, lasting till 1912, documents sketches of his sister, Sunayani Devi, Japanese art critic, Okakura, Ananda Coomaraswamy, and famous kirtan singers of Jorasanko. It has been recorded that Rabindranath's journey to London on 16 April 1921 was also his first travel by air. I am particularly interested in this ‘interim’ period where he articulated strong discontent towards bourgeois nationalists, colonial apologists, and the caste system through his caricatures. Gaganendranath Tagore (1867-1938) was a satirical cartoonist and painter. "Of Mockery and Mimicking: Gaganendranath Tagore’s Critique of Henri Bergson’s Laughter (1911)." See more ideas about Indian art, Indian paintings, Rabindranath tagore. On his backside is depicted his wealth as heaps of coins, vulgarly spent on festivals, prostitutes (suggested by the female hand) and psychophants, (symbolized by the eagles). Ltd. All Rights Reserved, Company School Paintings of Calcutta, Murshidabad, Patna (1750-1850): Doctoral Thesis of Late Dipak Bhattacharya (1960-2007). Title: East and West (Caricature) Creator: Gaganendranath Tagore; Date: 1917; Physical Dimensions: 10" x 12" Type: Brush & Ink; Get the app. (iii) What was the role of colour, as many of these are also coloured - lithographs? This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. 9)   Sant Nihal Singh, An Evening with Rabindranath Tagore, The Modern Review, July, 1921. A satire on marriage Satire on babudum Satire on greed that abused the faiths and beliefs of a … Parimoo, Ratan. His recent short documentary Farrago (2019) was screened at several film festivals in Italy, Greece, Vietnam, Columbia. His body is wrapped in layers of loose fat and his mouth is grossly slavering with flies hovering around. He is currently pursuing his research on Literary Visualities from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. He has removed his hat to wipe his head and his bag is left behind. Gaganendranath Tagore, 'Brahmin of Kaliyug', The Realm of the Absurd, by, ink on paper, Kolkata, 1917, Gaganendranath Tagore, Purification by Muddy Water, Abdhut Lok (Realm of the Absurd), 1917. From 1917 onwards, his satirical lithographs appeared in a series of books, including Play of … The Dance or Ball Room Dance (also called Waltzing Mahila), is available in many versions, especially one with the male figure of dark complexion and a flat nose thereby giving him an Indian identity, is important. Among the extensive satirical drawings of Gaganendranath many of them were finished by him as lithographs. Gaganendranath did not even spare his uncle Rabindranath, when a precise comment had to be made. Similarly, Gaganendranath’s politics stood at the limits of popular tendencies; he was equally critical of colonial mimicry and the romantic celebration of existing Indian practices. Herhuth, Eric. Almost simultaneously, with the Reforms of 1919, the colonial Government had passed a set of new coercive measures, known as the Rowlett Act. Here, Gaganendranath used colour quite suitably especially for the blood dripping from the wife's forehead. Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more. The drawings in Reform Screams reveal Gaganendranath as a bold nationalist, which must be acknowledged as a significant pictorial document of that period of the independence struggle. Born in Jorasanko into a family whose creativity would come to define Bengali as a culture. Seller Inventory # … The Maharaja of Bardhman has been adopted as the archetypal rich Bengali. Because of their socio-political capital, this class had the privilege of choice to be Anglicised or to resist it. J.C. Bose, the great contemporary scientist was the subject of one of Gaganendranth's drawings, despite his intimacy with the artist. The connecting link among Gaganendranath's satirical drawings was contained in the third and the last volume. In his speculations, the author opens up a whole new space for re-viewing and re-reading Gaganendranath. 7)  For adaptation of a suitable dress for an emancipated Bengali woman and the role played by Jnanadanandini Devi, see NAARI, ibid. In the above-mentioned drawing, the protagonist’s incompatibility and failure are aesthetically manifested in the folds of the protagonist’s trousers and his excessive sweating. Born on 18 September 1867, into the Tagore family in Kolkata, Gaganendranath Tagore as a self-taught artist and nephew of the great poet and nationalist Rabindranath Tagore. Gaganendranath was nephew of poet Rabindranath Tagore and brother of Abanindranath Tagore, the pioneer and leading exponent of the Bengal School of Art. Satirical plays in the context of Gaganendranath's caricatures connect with the best farcical play of Jyotindranath Tagore, first titled Eman Karma Ar Kabo Na, I won't do such a deed again, (1977), later changed to Alik Babu, The False Baboo, 1900. Gaganendranath has very ably caught the sprightliness, the grace and intimacy of a waltz style of western dancing. Similarly, in ‘Purification by Muddy Water’, mounds of ill-earned fat make him physically elevated rather than any sacred source. Gaganendranath was closely associated with his brother Abanindra in the creation of the Revivalist School of Bengal. art etc. Gaganendranath & Rabindranath chronology and comparative study , In caricatures, however, certain facets of identity are selectively retained to distinctly highlight the target object. Later, Gaganendranath showed an interest in satirical caricature and created some brilliant illustrations that were published in some books and in the Modern Review. The lack of labour and assumed self-importance have led this character to profound gluttony, sloth, and debauchery. 7. There are at least two undated drawings in which the sky is dark, in one case filled with stars and crescent moon and in another case, full of white clouds. It intends to raise awareness about art all around India and the world. Under Gaganendranath Tagore, the genre was transformed into an aesthetic of rupture, bringing to visual art hitherto unexplored vocabularies of critique and expressionism. “Overloading, Incongruity, Animation: A Theory of Caricature and Caricatural Logic in Contemporary Media” Theory and Event, Vol. His natural bulkiness provides the comic imagery, elevated as an icon placed on a pedestal. “Gaganendranath Tagore’s Satirical Drawings and Caricatures” Artnewsnviews. The overall filthiness in his presence upends the notion of Brahminical purity. ‘Nuisance Of A Wife’,1917. This 'dithering' on the part of Rabindranath followed soon after his much-hailed decision to return the Knighthood back to the British Crown in response to the Jalianwala Bagh massacre in the Punjab (1919). Gaganendranath Tagore is known as the first cartoonist in early twentieth century colonial India. An interest in the 'comic' and 'comedy', as contents of a play and challenging assignments for an actor would have been immediate inspirational stimulants. She evolved, along with some other ladies, first a contraption combining a frock with a scarf thrown over the torso and then the Brahmika sari adopted from the Parsi way (Bombay style) of draping on a sari.7. However, from 1915 to 1921, he suddenly developed a keen interest in caricature drawing, after which from 1922 onwards he shifted to Cubist and post-Cubist forms. He was one of the earliest modern Indian painters and caricaturist. He was equally critical of the Brahminical elite that dictated over Indian socio-economic capital by resorting to religious sources. The caricature entitled ‘Peace declared in the Punjab’- byGaganendranath made on the massacre of Jalianwala Bagh in 1921brought out the barbarous naked cruelty of the British rulers andhardened the hatred of the Indian people against the British. An enlarged nib of a pen is turned into a platform on which several inquisitive journalists are perched. farces for theatre. The title has been coined quite thoughtfully, Sold Per Force versus Soul Force. The cover drawing of Adbhut Lok titled, ‘Offending Shadow’ illustrates a similar predicament. The object of the National Congress was now defined as the attainment of Swaraj (self-rule) by all legitimate and peaceful means. These characters perennially suffer because of their inadeptness in completely donning the colonial cloak. In their affect-driven reception, the efficacy of social-political critique in images of public propagation should be rethought, especially in political cartoons and caricatures. Gaganendranath Tagore was a painter and a cartoonist. Since this trip was decisive in fundraising to set up the International University at Santiniketan, non-cooperation with Mahatma Gandhi for the 'non-cooperation movement', only underscored cooperation with the British establishment. The Charkha versus Everything Else (The Modern Review, July 1921) conclusively states the position taken by Rabindranath as well as some other thinkers of the country who held different viewpoints from that of Mahatma Gandhi. He is sweating not merely because of his inappropriate dress in the sultry weather, but also due to the embarrassment and frustration, he feels in his failure to be recognized as a ‘sahib’. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Gaganendranath was particularly against the urban, gentry class who desperately mimicked the colonial masters to evoke their lost political hegemony. A large section of the population worked for the colonial state as army men, guards, and in other lower-rank jobs because of their poor social circumstances. 2)   Quoted in Mulk Raj Anand, Gaganendranath Tagore's Realm of the Absurd, JISOA, Birth Centenary Number of Gaganendranath Tagore, Pulin Bihari Sen (ed. Fie upon you! Auto-Speechola or An Automatic Speech Making Machine. His forced attempt to wear trousers on top of his dhoti again amounts to the irregular folds. What is the goal of your education? With an intense social sensitivity, Gaganendranath created a complex satirical drawing on Bengali attitudes and practices concerning marriage. The latter view was actually held by Vivekananda. (i) How did Gaganendranath transfer the drawings on the litho stone? The quotation is as follows: “You think yourselves highly educated. Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata Kolkata, India. It is a Bengali practice to feed a sick man with a freshly caught live fish preserved in a water-filled pitcher. It has been noted that Gaganendranath's cartoons had been printed on the lithography press by a Muslim technician. The notion of 'flight in a dream', when one is hovering aloft the sky and traversing though various lands, derives from Dwinjendranath Tagore's imaginary description in his poem Swapna Prayan, which has been mentioned earlier. He epitomizes the schizophrenic subject who failingly tries to become like the master without being able to discard his inherent subjecthood. But practices of pictorial caricatures mocking the anglicized Bengali elite was nothing new in his times. The humurous Art of Gaganendranath Tagore published by The Birla Academy of art and culture. 3, John Hopkins University Press, pp. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Raminder Kaur and Parul Dave-Mukherji. In abstract art or forms like cubism, to which Gaganendranath later shifted, distortion of features can work to the extent of annihilating the original identity of the character. I quote from the only written statement left by Gaganendranth in the preface for Virupa Vajra (Birup Bajra) Strange Thunderbolt (1917), “When deformities grow unchecked, but are cherished by blind habit, it becomes the duty of the artist to show that they are ugly and vulgar and therefore abnormal”. From the corpus of his drawings, we must distinguish those which were worked out on lithography stone and the kind of devices that are particular to this process of print-making. His notebooks attached with pen and reading glasses (pince-nez) are scattered in space and he looks bewildered. In the current epoch, the political potency of caricatures can be precisely situated in this aesthetic tension that enables impassive critical response without losing their affective charge. Tagore was responsible … The pictorialization of social satire had already been initiated in the visual medium by the Kalighat painters. Gangoly, The Humorous Art o Gaganendranath Tagore, Calcutta, (undated). Although his artistic talent ranges from being a landscape artist to a cubist painter, he is best known for his caricatures which were given the status of a work of art rather than be simply seen as illustrations in … Gaganendranath Tagore only began to paint in 1905, quite late in his life, much like his polymath uncle Rabindranath Tagore. Reform Screams, (published in 1921) is the announcement of the Report of the Indian Constitutional Reforms: The Montague-Chelmsford Report. One of the more significant artists was Gaganendranath Tagore who after a brief stint in lithography left a timeless impact. A careful observation would reveal a remarkable sophistication of style, because of which it is possible to link them with Gaganendranath's Chaitanya series, most of which had been completed by 1914. The speeches they delivered in public were prepared for them by others like automatic machines, when writers are merely thoughtless automations conforming to colonial restrictions. In a witty manner Gaganendranath has juxtaposed two events together so that one signifies the other. ), 1972. Seeing the cartoon Bose said: “Gaganendranth's cartoons are not the sour delineation of a cynic but scenes which must have wronged the artist's soul with sorrow”.2. Swarajya was taken to imply 'self-rule' within the Empire if possible, without if necessary. (See Gaganendranath's drawing satirizing 'university'). Saved by Nayna Yadav. depicts the western gown. Some feminist commentators see in it the depiction of Bengali women leaving the boundary walls of the home and interacting with the world and men outside. Gaganendranath Tagore (1867-1938) Gaganendranath added a new facet to Bengal School of Art. Portrait studies with pencil and ink along with soft-colour landscapes primarily comprise his early artistic endeavour. However, unlike racially discriminant caricatures, Gaganendranath’s object of critique did not belong to a fixed identity. That is why Gaganendranath resorted to an additional phrase in the title of his caricature in the form of a 'query', 'is it cooperation or non-cooperation?' 9. He is very passionate about various art forms. “Arts of Contradiction: Gaganendranath Tagore and the Caricatural Aesthetic of Colonial India”, South Asian Studies, 2016, pp. Gaganendranath Tagore’s Realm of the Absurd — Mulk Raj Anand One of the three seals Gaganendranath Tagore frequently used on his pictures. Gaganendranath Tagore began drawing cartoons and caricatures from 1915 onwards and continued them till 1921. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. Born in Calcutta, Gaganendranath grew up in a family whose exceptional creativity spearheaded the city’s cultural scene. Gaganendranath Tagore is considered as one of India's earliest modern artists who experimented with different art styles in his career. Mar 14, 2019 - Explore Anusheel's board "Paintings by Rabindranath Tagore & Abanindranath Tagore", followed by 239 people on Pinterest. Ratan Pau moo : The painting of three Tagore. 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