Twenty three Collotypes of Paintings and Drawings
London Ganymed Press. 1961.
A collection of twenty three collotypes of paintings and drawings by Rabindranath Tagore. 1. Veiled woman, 65 by 48cm. 2. Full faced portrait of a veiled woman against red background, 60 by 49cm. 3. Full faced portrait of veiled woman, 60 by 45cm. 4. Leaning male figure 59 by 26cm. Seated male figure, 34 by 26cm. 6. Profile of male head, 36 by 26cm. 7. Two male characters conversing and figure of a man looking down, 44 by 43cm. 8. Full faced self portrait of the artist, 48 by 30cm. 9. Portrait of dark skinned man or close up of a mask, 33 by 28cm. 10. Portrait of a full faced veiled woman against a light brown background, 60 by 60cm. 11. Black & White threads 35 by 28cm. 12. Profile of a veiled woman against a grey background, 76 by 52cm. 13. Two male figures or masked figures in profile, 43 by 40cm. 14. Semi-figurative drawing of a woman in black ink, 33 by 28cm. 15. Swirling designed in blue and black ink, 33 by 28cm. 16. Semi-abstract landscape, 44 by 75cm. 17. Four pages from the artists Purabi manuscript. The pages completely covered with erasures creating an abstract composition, four on one sheet. 54 by 45cm. 18. Abstract in dark reds, 56 by 39cm. 19. Stylised flowers in blue, purple and red, 50 by 29cm. 20. Semi-abstract painting of a prehistoric creature, 66 by 54cm. 21. Semi-abstract vertical figure in black and greys 48 by 23cm. 22. Stylised crouching figure in coloured inks, 43 by 36cm. 23. Abstract balcony view in yellow and browns, 60 by 43cm. Recipient of the Nobel Prize (1913) for literature, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was born in an affluent Bengali family. He was a versatile genius and developed an acute sensibility towards various art forms, literature, poetry, dance and music. Tagore's journey as a painter began in his late sixties as an extension to his poetry. Though he had hardly any formal training in art, he developed a highly imaginative and spontaneous visual vocabulary, enhanced by a sound understanding of the visual practices of modern western art and primitivism. His first images emerged from revision marks on his manuscripts that he distorted into animal shapes - slightly crude renderings of fantastical animals. On his birth centenary of in 1961, the Indian government—at the personal initiative of its prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who had known and revered Tagore in the 1930s commissioned a portfolio of collotype reproductions of some of Tagore's more than 2,000 paintings and drawings. They were printed by the renowned Ganymed Press. So ﬁne was the quality that when the collotype reproductions were exhibited at the Commonwealth Institute in London, some visitors took them for the original works. Tagore said his paintings did not contain "any interpretation of an idea or representation of fact". This might be true for the animal images and the landscapes, but can hardly be said to be true for his studies of veiled women. The Ganymed Press were Collotype printers, in London between 1947 and 1963. The firm owed its origins to Ganymed Graphische Anstalt of Berlin, founded in the early years of the 20th century by Bruno Deja, a printer, and the art historian Julius Meier-Graefe. The Berlin works was re-established after wartime bombing with the help of the British publishing firm Lund Humphries and the New Statesman newspaper; Deja, in turn, advised the London firm set up by Lund Humphries and the New Statesman and provided trained craftsmen. The firm was run by Bernhard Baer (1905-83) and his wife Anne. Baer presented a set of these collotypes to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1961. A fine set with a couple of spots to the margins on one or two of the collotypes.