Abanindranath Tagore

Intimate Involvement: Passionate love of Mukul Chandra Dey for drypoint and etching

— Satyasri Ukil

Mukul Dey at his studio ‘Kalika’
Photo: Satyasri Ukil
A printmaker’s studio is a strange interface between art and technology, where art production is as dependent on artistic skills as on chemicals, machines, and specialized tools to engrave and scratch the image on metal plates. Here one finds needles and burins instead of brushes. And the place is full with acid mordant, beeswax, asphalt, bitumen, hotplate, French Chalk, pigments, metal plates and finally the press, with its rollers, and sets of soft yet durable felt sheets. The entire scenario is in stark contrast to the almost feminine tenderness of a painter’s studio. Yet here are produced images with wonderful chiaroscuro and bold and delicately fluid lines in multiple impressions! A printing studio may seem medieval, yet it withstands obsolescence.

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Kokka Woodblock Reproductions of Early Neo-Bengal School Paintings

— Satyasri Ukil

Feast of Lamps by Abanindranath Tagore, Kokka woodblock print
Photo: Mukul Dey Archives
Kakuzo Okakura, in ‘The Ideals of the East’ (published by E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1903, p.1) says:

Asia is one. The Himalayas divide, only to accentuate, two mighty civilisations, the Chinese with its communism of Confucius, and the Indian with its individualism of the Vedas. But not even the snowy barriers can interrupt for one moment that broad expanse of love for the Ultimate and Universal, which is the common thought-inheritance of every Asiatic race, enabling them to produce all the great religions of the world, and distinguishing them from those maritime peoples of the Mediterranean and the Baltic, who love to dwell on the Particular, and to search out the means, not the end, of life.”

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Abanindranath Tagore: A Survey of the Master’s Life and Work

— Mukul Dey

Abanindranath Tagore
Photo: Mukul Dey Archives
This article on Abanindranath Tagore, was written by his disciple Mukul Dey and is reprinted from ‘Abanindra Number, The Visva-Bharati Quarterly, May – Oct. 1942’.


Dr. Abanindranath Tagore, C. I. E., the famous artist of modern India, was born in Calcutta on August 7, 1871, at the Jorasanko residence of the Tagore family, 5, Dwarkanath Tagore Lane. The day happened to be Janmastami, the birthday of Sri Krishna. He is the youngest son of the late Gunendranath Tagore and grandson of Girindranath Tagore, the second son of Prince Dwarkanath Tagore.

His eldest brother Gaganendranath was also an artist of repute, and the next brother is Samarendranath Tagore who is of a studious and retiring disposition.

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