29 March - 27 May, 2012
Tuesday-Sunday: 8.30 am - 7.30 pm;
Closed: Monday, May 1;
Last admission 45 minutes before closing time.
Adults: € 10,00;
Concessions: € 8,00 (EU citizens between 18 and 25 years of age);
Free of charge: EU citizens under 18 and over 65 years of age.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was one of the most charismatic figure of Indian culture. Today, 150 years after his birth, his vast outpouring of works in diverse fields of music, literature, art and education remains as relevant as they were when created.
The entire world remembers Tagore as the first Asian recipient of Nobel Prize for literature in 1913, subsequent to publication of the
English translation Gitanjali: Song Offerings in 1912. But Tagore was not only a poet, he was an author of short stories and novels, a play writer, a composer, an essayist and also a painter whose contributions still remain a milestone in the history of culture. Through his writings he conveyed his ideas and thoughts and helped to shape modern Bengali literature and language. He influenced many writers, not just in Bengali but in other Indian languages as well. His works were in essence experimental and modern also because they aimed at being unconventional.
Tagore left his footprint in each cultural area he cultivated and he skillfully combined images and shapes intelligible to both East and West. His synthesis of ideas and thoughts was to be a hallmark of all of Tagore’s creations that extended to his involvement in the field of education as well. Thanks to his commitment in the initial phase of the Indian Freedom Movement he contributed to the socio-political and economic development of India. Through his paintings, like in his poems, songs and literature Tagore searched for a unifying theme or universal “truth” that ran as a common thread through all his creations.
Tagore started painting after the age of 60, nevertheless, though he came to drawing and painting towards the end of his life span, in many ways these spontaneous creations witness a great skill in the use of technical means all along the huge body of his works, synthesizing, in an original and personal style, the suggestions coming from his poetic inspiration, thus creating an elegant complicity and a charming and rather sophisticated synesthesia.
When shown in India for the first time, the paintings evoked perplexity, and were termed incomprehensible even by the modern
Indian artists of that time; despite this Tagore was the first Indian artist to exhibit his works, in 1930, across Europe, Russia and the United States of America, where his paintings and drawings arouse great public consensus, continuing to elude any kind of categorization under the narrow boundaries of art movements. The exhibited artworks as well as the archival materials mainly
held at Rabindra Bhavana and Kala Bhavan Museum at Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan and are on display for the first time in Italy. This exhibition, thus, will give viewers the chance to enjoy a rich and varied collection of works and discover Tagore, the ‘painter’.
The exhibition is curated by Professor R. Sivakumar of Visva Bharati University and held under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, of
the Government of India. The National Gallery of Modern Art of New Delhi is the nodal agency responsible for organizing the exhibition in
Rome as well in other European capital cities.