From Interlocutor to Painter: Rabindranath Tagore and Modern Indian Art

Upcoming Events Login

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 20185:00PM - 7:00PM108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place
Registration Full Print this Event Bookmark this Event


Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is known outside India primarily as the first non-European winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, but in India, he is considered one of the two most important architects of Modern India; the other being Gandhi. Besides transforming the cultural landscape, it was his mission to introduce India to the world and the world to India.
Painting played a special place in this endeavor. He began to paint only in his mid-sixties but he was a critical interlocutor on the Indian art scene from 1890s. While he recognized the importance of achieving political freedom, he did support cultural insularity in the name of nationalism. He encouraged Indian artists to engage with the realities of the world they lived in and to benefit from other cultures to enlarge their own creative possibilities. He first realized this this through the art school he founded in Santiniketan and later through his own work as a painter. This illustrated talk will present Tagore’s contribution to Indian art and his transformation from interlocutor to painter/exemplar.

Reception to follow.

R. Siva Kumar is an art historian, curator and the author of several books on the Bengal and Santiniketan Schools. Through his work has extensively remapped this important trajectory in modern Indian art. He is professor of art history at Visva Bharati, Santiniketan and currently visiting professor at Carleton University.


Mayumi Yamaguchi


Christoph Emmrich
Director, Centre for South Asian Studies

R. Siva Kumar
Professor in History of Art, Visva Bharati University Santiniketan Visiting professor at Carleton University

Main Sponsor

Centre for South Asian Studies


Dipak and Pauline Mazumdar

If you are attending a Munk School event and require accommodation(s), please email the event contact listed above to make appropriate arrangements.

Disclaimer: Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at or 416-946-8900.

Newsletter Signup Sign up for the Munk School Newsletter

× Strict NO SPAM policy. We value your privacy, and will never share your contact info.