The Last Harvest: Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore
January 29–April 15, 2012
Gallery 50

 Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore

Tagore is part of a long and distinguished tradition of writers whose expression extended beyond the page and across media. For many fellow writers and indeed Nobel laureates, the visual arts seemed to be an alternate mode of expression, often explored later in life. Nobel Prize–winning authors William B. Yeats, Hermann Hesse, and Günter Grass found drawing and painting to be enriching and complementary activities to their writing.

Tagore did not discover his affinity for painting until 1924, when he was in his mid-60s. His artistic practice grew out of his habits as a writer and poet; doodles and erasures sketched on his manuscripts blossomed into fantastic animals, figures, and scenes. Tagore's cross-cultural encounters during his many trips abroad influenced his visual art—tribal artifacts of the Pacific, ancient bronzes from China, arts and crafts of Japan, and European modernism are all evident. By incorporating these various motifs and styles, he created images—rhythmically articulated pictorial forms—he felt were universal. He believed that while his music and writing were primarily for Bengal and India, his paintings—free from the limitations of language—were for the whole world.

The Art Institute is pleased to join the celebrations of Tagore's 150th birthday by bringing The Last Harvest: Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore to Chicago. Co-organized by the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, and the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India, this is the first major traveling exhibition from India to be exhibited at the Art Institute and presents a stunningly beautiful visual introduction to one of India's most highly regarded writers and artists.

Tagore Sponsors


The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, and the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

Sara Lee


Lead Corporate Sponsor of The Last Harvest: Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore

Generous support is provided by Anita and Prabhakant Sinha and the Sinha Kikeri Foundation; Elissa Efroymson, Adnaan Hamid, and the Efroymson-Hamid Family Foundation; the Efroymson Family Fund; and an anonymous fund at the Boston Foundation.

Additional support is provided by Charles and Kathleen Harper and Penelope R. Steiner.

Rabindranath Tagore. Untitled, 05-11-28.