Coupon Accepted Successfully!


A Different Vision of National Art

In Bengal, a new group of nationalist artists gathered around Abanindranath Tagore, nephew of Rabindranath Tagore.

Abanindranath Tagore

  • They rejected the art of Ravi Varma as imitative and westernised, and declared that such a style was unsuitable for depicting the nation’s ancient myths and legends.

  • They stated that a genuine Indian style of painting had to draw inspiration from non-Western art traditions, and try to capture the spiritual essence of the East.

  • They broke away from the convention of oil painting and the realistic style, and turned for inspiration to medieval Indian traditions of miniature painting and the ancient art of mural painting in the Ajanta caves.

  • They were also influenced by the art of Japanese artists who visited India at that time to develop an Asian art movement.

Parvati playing with Ganesh , Abanindranath Tagore

Abanindranath Tagore

Abanindranath Tagore is regarded as the father of India’s modern art. He is the leader of Renaissance movement of Indian Painting as he contributed a lot to the revival of ancient Indian art, specially the Moghul and Rajput style of art.

In his own way Abanindranath started the pan-Asian art movement. He was introduced to the Japanese style of art by great artist Okakura, who influenced him by the Japanese landscape and calligraphic style of art. On the other hand Abanindranath’s own sense of Indian spiritualism was reflected through his contribution to the freedom movement. Students made procession with flags of `Bharat Mata` painted by Abanindranath Tagore.

Bharat Mata by Abanindranath Tagore


After the 1920s, a new generation of artists began to break away from the style popularised by Abanindranath Tagore. They felt that artists had to explore real life instead of illustrating ancient books. They started looking for inspiration from living folk art and tribal designs rather than ancient art forms. New movements of art grew and styles of art changed.

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name