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What made ‘Bharat Mata’ revolutionary during India’s freedom struggle?

This painting was one of the most revolutionary things that happened during our freedom struggle.

Painted by Abanindranath Tagore (the nephew of Ravindranath Tagore) “the woman as a nation” was considered as the most rebellious depiction, conceived keeping in mind the Swadesi movement and patriotic zeal at that time.

Bharat Mata by Abanindranath Tagore, 1905 (Water Color on paper 10.5″ x 6″) Source: Wikipedia

It was painted in 1905 when Bengal was deranged by communal tension and furthermore with Lord Curzon’s partition of the state.

The impact was such that this image became a part of all the ‘Quit India’ Processions. Bharat Mata became the new deity of the country!

This image was the new face of Swadesi and Independent India.

A radiant mother promising a bright future to her people.

The Goddess is wearing saffron robes, her four arms hold Anna( food), Vastra (clothes), Shiksha (Education), & Diksha (sacred beads for salvation) unlike the other Hindu Goddesses holding weapons.

Tagore’s perception of Bharat Mata is quite lyrical and gentle.

His version was soon overtaken by a more assertive portrayal of the goddess. She usually appeared alongside a map of India.

Now, this bit is quite interesting if you are an artist.

The beautiful hazy blend of colors you see in this painting comes from a unique technique Tagore had invented.

He adapted the watercolor technique from Japanese art.

He applied layers of paint and then dipped the paper in water alternatively, producing a hazy, graceful blend of colors.

Bharat Mata Ki Jai!

Happy Independence Day!


Published by Harshada Vispute

Though a Post-graduate in Management and earlier worked for various industries, Harshada treasured her passion for painting by self-learning. She is also a good writer and has written books for the organization she worked. However, her deep-seated love for colours couldn’t let her stay inside the four walls of the corporate world. Determined to pursue her passion, she left for Dharamshala to learn Thangka painting, a rare Tibetan art form. Most of her other artworks find their backdrop in the scenic beauty of nature. Her love for art and writing, together with the zeal to inspire self-made artists like her, gave birth to

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