The Passing of Shah Jahan (1902) by Abanindranath Tagore

The Passing of Shah Jahan - Abanindranath Tagore - 1902

Artwork Information

TitleThe Passing of Shah Jahan
ArtistAbanindranath Tagore
Date1902
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About The Passing of Shah Jahan

Abanindranath Tagore, the founder of the Bengal School of art, was a renowned Indian artist in the 20th century. “The Passing of Shah Jahan” is one of his notable creations. The oil painting on board was completed in 1902 and measures 14 x 10 inches. This miniature painting portrays Shah Jahan, Mughal Emperor at his deathbed, gazing upon the Taj Mahal while his daughter Jahanara lies at his feet. Apart from being an artist, Tagore was also a writer and a significant promoter of swadeshi values in Indian art. He was the first Indian artist to gain international recognition and principal creator the Indian Society of Oriental Art. To date, “The Passing of Shah Jahan” remains part of Victoria Memorial’s collection in Kolkata, India. The painting depicts one last look at what might have been one monumental feat for Shah Jahan as he breathed his last breaths. It captures a poignant moment that echoes through time with its tenderness; it tells three parallel narratives: mourning for loss, admiration for beauty and longing for eternity all encapsulated perfectly by Taj Mahal’s silhouette that dominates even under shadows. The artwork represents an ode to love while capturing grief and transcendence effortlessly with cool blues merging into warm earth tones as it flows onto its dark wooden frame. In summary, Abanindranath Tagore’s “The Passing of Shah Jahan” exquisitely commemorates history by portraying emotions on canvas appropriately. Its relevance extends beyond culture; thus making it an essential piece not just in India’s but also globally recognized art collection.

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