Untitled (Bird Arabesque)

Rabindranath Tagore, Indian (eastern India, Calcutta), 1861 - 1941

Made in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), West Bengal, Bengal Region, India, Asia

Modern Period

c. 1933

Pen and ink, graphite, and colored pencil on wove paper

Sheet: 7 1/2 × 8 11/16 inches (19.1 × 22.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Stella Kramrisch, 1966

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In his writings, Tagore describes grotesque animals as unliberated life-forms struggling to escape the confines of their own bodies. His close friend, the art historian Ananda Coomaraswamy, suggested that Tagore's strange paintings of birds might be veiled portraits of the leaders of the League of Nations, an idealistic organization for international unity that Tagore initially supported until he became frustrated by its internal bickering.