Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is arguably the most important Indian artistic figure of the modern era. The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, claimed that he had two gurus: Gandhi and Tagore. A renowned poet, novelist, composer and painter, Tagore is also the only person in history to have written the national anthems for three countries. He became a global sensation when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, the first non-European to do so. This lecture provides an introduction to Tagore’s remarkable life and work, including his novels, poetry, songs and paintings. It also explores the role Tagore’s art played in the story of India’s fight for independence.
Dr John Stevens gained his PhD in History from UCL, before going on to teach British Imperial History, Indian History and Bengali Language at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London). His biography of the Indian guru Keshab Chandra Sen – Keshab: Bengal’s Forgotten Prophet – was published by Hurst and Oxford University Press in 2018. He is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh and has lectured at numerous Indian universities. He also works as a consultant on Indian affairs and teaches the Bengali language to private students. He has appeared many times in the Indian media, and was a guest on BBC Radio Four’s In Our Time, discussing the poet and artist Rabindranath Tagore.
‘The Art of Rabindranath Tagore’ will take place on Thursday 11 April at 8pm.
From £10. To book, visit theartssocietychiswick.org.uk