Photography: Rabindranath Tagore

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rabindranath tagore photographs

Today is the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), the first Asian Nobel Laureate who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for ‘Geetanjali’, a compilation of some of his poems. He was not only a poet but truly a multifaceted genius – a Writer, Painter, Philosopher, Educator, Businessman, Social Reformer and advocate of Indian Independence. He has composed over 2000+ songs popularly called ‘Rabindra-Sangeet’ which still continues to top the charts. He is the only composer and lyricist in the world whose compositions are used as the National Anthems of 2 different nations, India and Bangladesh. He continues to be a popular literary figure in today’s world. His writings, paintings and songs seem so very contemporary. This is my humble tribute to this great personality on his Birth Anniversary – a collection of some photographs featuring Tagore at various stages of his life, photos with which you are not too familiar with….hope you will get a glimpse of the life of this great persona through these snaps…..

Early Life:

young Rabindranath Tagore at age of twelve

Rabindranath Tagore at the age of 12 approx.

Rabindranath Tagore in England

Tagore in England in 1879 / 1880

Young Rabindranath:

Rabindranath Tagore playing Valmiki in his drama Valmiki Pratibha

Tagore playing Valmiki in his drama Valmiki Pratibha, staged at their own house.

Rabindranath Tagore as Valmiki with niece Indira Devi in Valmiki Pratibha

Tagore as Valmiki in Valmiki Pratibha (1881) with his niece Indira Devi as the goddess Lakshmi.

Rabindra Nath Tagore

“The burden of the self is lightened with I laugh at myself” – Tagore

Young Tagore

“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it” – Tagore

RabindraNath Tagore with wife Mrinalini Devi

Tagore with his wife Mrinalini Devi, 1883

Rabindranath Tagore and Indira Devi

Tagore with Indira Devi, 1886

Rabindra Nath Tagore in England during his second visit

In England during his second visit, 1890

Rabindranath Tagore young age photo

“Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom” – Tagore

Tagore in Middle Age:

Rabindranath Tagore with eldest daughter Madhurilata and eldest son Rathindranath

Tagore with eldest daughter Madhurilata and eldest son Rathindranath

Rabindra Nath Tagore at the age of 35(approx)

Autographed picture of Tagore at the age of 35 (approx)

Rabindranath Tagore at the age of 40(approx)

Tagore at the age of 40 (approx)

Rabindranath Tagore with Tripureswar Radhakishor Debmanikya

Rabindranath Tagore with Tripureswar Radhakishor Debmanikya

Rabindranath Tagore, 1905 - photographer Sukumar Ray

Rabindranath Tagore, 1905, taken by the poet and artist Sukumar Ray

The Prime-Time of His Life:

Rabindranath Tagore with his children

Rabindranath Tagore with his children – (from left) daughter Mira, son Rathindranath, daughter-in-law Pratima, daughter Bela

Rabindranath Tagore with his immediate family

Rabindranath Tagore with with his immediate family

Rabindra Nath Tagore at the time of writing Bengali Gitanjali

Rabindranath Tagore at the time of writing Bengali Gitanjali

Rabindranath Tagore with eminent Bengali writers

Rabindranath Tagore with eminent Bengali writers, 1912 just before a trip to England.
(from right) Sitting – Satyendranath Dutta, Jatindramohan Bagchi, Karunanidhan Bandopadhay.
Standing – Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhya, Manilal Gangopadhya, Dwijendra Narayan Bagchi, Charuchandra Bandopadhya.

Rabindranath Tagore at Hampstead, England

Rabindranath Tagore at Hampstead, England in 1912

Rabindranath Tagore with Willie Pearson

Rabindranath Tagore with Willie Pearson

Rabindra Nath Tagore as Fakir in his play Dakghar

Tagore (right) as Fakir in his play Dakghar, 1917

Rabindranath Tagore in the year of his knighthood

Rabindranath Tagore in Kolkata, 1915, the year he was knighted by Lord Hardinge

Rabindranath Tagore with eldest brother Dwijendranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore with eldest brother, Dwijendranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore in Gujarat

Rabindranath in Gujarat (1920) (from: The Report of the Sixth Gujarati Sahitya Parishad-1920 (pub.1923))

Rabindranath Tagore at grand-daughter Pusu's marriage

Tagore at his grand-daughter Pusu’s marriage

With Friends and Admirers:

Gandhi and Tagore, Ahmedabad

Gandhi and Tagore, Ahmedabad, 6th Conference on Literature in Gujarat, 3-5 April 1920

Rabindranath Tagore visiting University of Dhaka

Tagore visiting University of Dhaka in 1926. In the right Prof. R. C. Majumder, famous Indian historian and DU teacher

Rabindranath Tagore with Romain Rolland, Switzerland

Romain Rolland & Rabindranath Tagore in Villeneuve, Switzerland, 1926

Rabindranath Tagore with Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

Rabindranath Tagore with Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, about 1930

Rabindranath Tagore with Victoria Ocampo

Tagore and Victoria Ocampo in 1930

Rabindranath Tagore and Leonard Elmhirst

Rabindranath Tagore and Leonard Elmhirst

Rabindranath Tagore in Paris

Rabindranath Tagore at the Galerie Pigalle, Paris, 1930

Rabindranath Tagore with Albert Einstein

Rabindranath Tagore & Albert Einstein, 1930

Karel with Tagore

Karel with Tagore in 1935

Rabindranath Tagore with Hellen Keller

Tagore reading from his works to Hellen Keller

Rabindranath Tagore with Mahatma Gandhi

Tagore with Mahatma Gandhi

Tagore with Mr and Mrs Gandhi

Mohandas Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi with Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan

Rabindranath Tagore with Prof. Tan Yun Shan

Professor Tan Yun Shan presenting Chinese books to the poet

Rabindranath Tagore with C.F. Andrews

C.F. Andrews with Rabindranath

Rabindranath Tagore with Pandit Bhim Rao Shastri

Rabindranath Tagore with Pandit Bhim Rao Shastri

Rabindranath Tagore with Indira Gandhi

Tagore with Indira Gandhi

Rabindranath Tagore with granddaughter Nandita

Tagore with granddaughter Nandita, the daughter of Rabindranath’s youngest daughter Mira

Rabindranath Tagore with Uday Shankar

Tagore with Uday Shankar

Rabindranath Tagore in Berlin

Tagore In Berlin

Rabindranath Tagore after winning the Nobel Prize

Rabindranath Tagore with a group of Bengalis in Santiniketan, November, 1913, after he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature

Rabindranath Tagore at Tsinghua University

Tagore (center, at right) visits with Chinese academics at Tsinghua University in 1924.

Rabindranath Tagore in Tehran

Tagore (3rd from right) meets members of the Iranian Majlis (Consultative Assembly),Tehran, April-May 1932

Rabindranath Tagore in front of a KLM airplane

Rabindarath Tagore with the air captain, Mrs P.C. Visser and the second pilot in front of a KLM airplane

Rabindranath Tagore near Amrokunjo in Shantiniketan

Tagore approaching the Amrokunjo in Shantiniketan after a prayer in Bengali New Year (1940)

Rabindranath Tagore at University of California, Berkeley

Tagore with Indian Students at University of California, Berkeley

Rabindranath Tagore with Students

Tagore with Students

Rabindranath Tagore watching a dance programme

Tagore watching a dance programme

Tagore in Leisure:

Rabindranath Tagore sitting with a book in hand

“Beauty is truth’s smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror” – Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore in his prime

“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark” – Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore black and white photo

“Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it” – Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore resting

“We have no time to lose,
and having no time we must scramble for a chance.” – Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore at morning tea

Tagore at morning tea

Rabindranath Tagore painting

Tagore painting

Rabindranath Tagore sitting with a child

“Trees are Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven” – Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore reading book

“Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them” – Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore in Berlin

Tagore in Berlin, 1930

Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan

Tagore standing in front of one of his houses in Santiniketan, 1935

Nobel laureate Tagore

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf”
– Tagore

I have tried to collect as many photographs as I could…. I might have missed a few…. if you find any such picture please mention it’s link in the comment section below….

16 COMMENTS

  1. Wow! Amazing collection of photos! Absolutely loved them! Thanks for posting these.
    Antara since you are such a fan of Rabindranath Tagore, I invite you to visit my website where I have a wonderful collection of some of Tagore’s books all available for a free download. I have painstakingly restored them into an easy to read and print format.

  2. very good photos .its nice to know that someone has an entire collection of tagore’s life.useful in studies

  3. Thank you for colecting the pictures.I have been immensely benefited from your collection.While researching on my paper,”Rabindranath on Nobel Purashkar,” I stumbled on this treasure trove of pictures.I plan to use some of your pictures with due acknowledgement to you. Anirban Banerjee, Professr & head of the Department of Sociology, The University of Burdwan, West Bengal, INDIA

  4. It is an art to collect live art of an artist. Thank you. Enrich more collecting more.

  5. I am thrilled to find so many photographs from childhood till old age of Tagore here. This is a great great collection. It is a treasure to be guarded and preserved for the generations to come. My salute to the collector.

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