The Passing of Shah Jahan

Abanindranath Tagore

The Passing of Shah Jahan




15.0 x 10.0 in. / 38.1 x 25.4 cm.


Chromolithograph on paper

Abanindranath Tagore, a pioneering twentieth-century Indian artist and an active proponent of revivalist art, was the founder of what came to be known as the Bengal School. Trained in the European realist style, his practice evolved to assimilate Ajanta frescos, Kalighat pats, Mughal, Japanese and Persian elements. He was known for this highly expressive, nuanced compositions that were rendered in an independent ‘Indian-style’, drawing on the design and calligraphic patterns of late medieval miniatures. Presented here is a chromolithography, titled The Passing of Shah Jahan, featuring the Mughal Emperor and his daughter, Jahanara Begum, with the majestic Taj Mahal in the distant background. His employment of the traditional miniature form towards creating a new sensibility demonstrates why he was said to have initiated a ‘new school of Indian painting.’

published references

Abanindranath Tagore (Calcutta: The Indian Society of Oriental Art, 1961), p. 45
Appasamy, Jaya, Abanindranath Tagore and the Art of his Times (New Delhi: Lalit Kala Akademi, 1968), facing title page
Parimoo, Ratan, The Paintings of the Three Tagores: Abanindranath, Gaganendranath, Rabindranath, Chronology and Comparative Study (Baroda: MS University Baroda Press, 1973), plate no. 39
Guha-Thakurta, Tapati, The Making of a New Indian Art, Artists, Aesthetics and Nationalism in Bengal, c. 1850-1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 244
Mitter, Partha, Art and Nationalism in Colonial India, 1850-1922, Occidental Orientations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 287
Ghose, Arun, Art of Bengal, 1850-1950 (Calcutta: Calcutta Metropolitan Festival of Art, 1997), p. 74
Art of Bengal, Past and Present, 1850-2000 (Calcutta: CIMA, 2000), p. 62
Sinha, Gayatri, Poetry and Patriotic Fervour (New Delhi: DAG, 2003), p. 29
Sinha, Gayatri, ed., Art and Visual Culture in India, 1857-2007 (Mumbai: Marg Publications, 2009), p. 87
Singh, Kishore, ed., The Art of Bengal (New Delhi: DAG, 2012), pp. 36, 107
Sengupta, Paula, The Printed Picture: Four Centuries of Indian Printmaking, Volume II (New Delhi: DAG, 2012), p. 321

The Passing of Shah Jahan
The Passing of Shah Jahan
More Information
Art Artist Names Single Abanindranath Tagore

additional artworks