Author, artist and teacher of the art of painting, Abanindranath Tagore has left an indelible influence on the artistic life of India, especially that of Bengal. His paintings broke these grounds for a new trend in Indian painting, which came to be known as the ‘Bengal School’. His large following of disciples include the famous artists like Nandalal Bose, Surendranath Ganguli, Jamini Roy, Surendanath Gupta, Surendranath Kar, Asit Haldare, Kshitindranath Majumdar, Ram Kinkar, Binod Bihari Mukherji, Sharadachaarn Ukil, and K. Venkatappa. These wonderful people generated a new enthusiasm in painting and other plastic arts and Indian artistic atmosphere was at the gateway to its modern age.
Abanindra belonged to the illustrious family of Calcutta (now Kolkotta), which gave birth to the great Tagores. He was born (1871) to Gunendranath, son of Girindranath, the second son of Dvarankendranath, and Saudamini Devi. Poet Rabindranath Tagore was the son of Devendranth, brother of Girindranath. Abanindra’s father and grandfather were painters. His father was his first mentor. He learned Sanskrit and Bengali and right from his early days, he used to compose poems. Poet Tagore inspired him to train in music and both the poet and this budding painter lived in the same house for about twenty years. Abanindra had further training in painting from O’ Gilhard, famous painter and principal of Calcutta school of Painting, and later took lessons in oil painting and portraits from the British painter Charles Palmer.