Rare Rabindranath Tagore landscapes come to Bonhams South Asian Art sale

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Rare Rabindranath Tagore landscapes come to Bonhams South Asian Art sale
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Untitled (West Bengal Landscape). Estimate: £80,000 - 120,000. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Two landscapes by Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) lead Bonhams Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art on Tuesday 14 November at New Bond Street, London. Untitled (West Bengal Landscape) and Untitled (Dark landscape with cliffs and tree), are both individually estimated at £80,000 - 120,000.

Priya Singh, Bonhams Head of Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art, commented: “Rabindranath Tagore is best known as the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and yet his talents and his legacy go beyond his work as a poet and writer. Tagore was also a composer – he wrote the national anthems for both India and Bangladesh – a social reformer, a philosopher, and a painter. Tagore's landscapes offer us an intimate glimpse into his contemplative spirit, his deep appreciation for the natural world, and his unique ability to translate his poetic sensibilities onto the canvas. Landscapes by Tagore are extremely rare, and these works have unbroken provenance making them especially desirable to collectors. We expect a great deal of interest.”

Tagore travelled extensively throughout his life, and his journey to America in 1930 was marked by a fervent desire to bridge the gap between the East and West. He delivered a series of lectures and met with a number of American thinkers. An exhibition of his work ran in the Fifty-Sixth Street Galleries in New York, overseen and funded by Nina Collier (née Perera), who had befriended Tagore in Germany earlier that year. As a mark of gratitude Tagore asked Collier to select a number of his works, and two of her chosen works are now offered in the auction.

During the course of her life, Nina lent these works to various exhibitions around the United States and abroad. Some of these include the 1953 exhibition of Contemporary Indian Arts and Crafts, sponsored by the Government of India, and organised by the Academy of Fine Art, Bombay at the Smithsonian, and the 1961 birth centenary celebrations of Tagore, hosted by the Asia Society.

Other highlights of the sale include:

• Bashir Mirza (1941-2000), Untitled (Qilash Series). Estimate: £50,000 - 70,000.

• Jamil Naqsh (1939-2019), Untitled (Calligraphy). Estimate: £50,000 - 70,000.

• Lain Singh Bangdel (1919-2002), Song of Himalaya. Estimate: £10,000 - 15,000. This is the first time the work will be offered at auction. Lain Singh Bangdel: Mountains and Migration, a non-selling exhibition of the artist’s work will run at Bonhams New Bond Street from 11-21 November.

• Sadequain (1930-1987), Surah Ya-Sin. A 26-metre scroll. Estimate: £50,000 - 70,000.

• Sara Riaz Khan (B.1970), Succour. Estimate: £3,000 - 5,000. The proceeds from the sale of this work will be donated to the charity The Chester Childbirth Appeal.

• Maqbool Fida Husain (1915-2011), Untitled (Woman & Donkey). Estimate: £150,000-200,000.

• Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002), Untitled (Couple). Estimate: £12,000-18,000.

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