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The Satirical Caricatures of Gaganendranath Tagore

Anavisha Banerjee

Gaganendranath Tagore is known as the first cartoonist in early twentieth century colonial India. Although his
artistic talent ranges from being a landscape artist to a cubist painter, he is best known for his caricatures
which were given the status of a work of art rather than be simply seen as illustrations in magazines. The
article analyses his satirical sketches from different volumes of his work. The main focus is to look at the
satirical representations of middle and upper class Bengali women, bhadramahila and anglicized Bengali men,
babus, within the colonial context. The article will trace the growth of Bengal art and subsequently the colonial
influence on art. The impact of the British and Oriental exponents become an important ground in exploring
the growth of a new style of art. The rise of nationalist sentiment and Swadeshi movement’s role in the revival
of the status of Bengal art was an essential feature of the nineteenth and the early twentieth century. The
above issues will form an important base is underlining the growth of Gaganendranath’s as an artist and the
themes for his caricatures. The use of bilingual titles will become an important aspect in analyzing his liberal
mindedness as an artist.

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