The Illumination of the Shadow, watercolour and oil on card, signed and initialed GT lower right, label on reverse stating the title and artist's name, framed, 27 x 18.8cm (10 5/8 x 7 3/8in).
Provenance: Private UK collection; acquired directly from the artist in India in 1924/25 and thence by descent.
The current owner's mother acquired the painting on a trip to India in 1924/1925. Whilst there she stayed with her uncle Brigadier Rivers Worgan who was at the time Military Secretary to Lord Reading, Viceroy of India (1921-1925). Notes made by her at the time suggest that the painting was either gifted to the owner's mother by Brigadier Worgan, or purchased by her directly from the artist. Her diary written at the time does mention the fact that they called on the Tagores who were away at the time, and although there is no mention of a return visit having been made, she had signalled her intention to call on them again. The painting was brought back to the UK in 1925 and from then on hung in her house.
The scene depicted is a feast taking place during the festival of Diwali and it is likely that the building depicted is the Kali Temple, at Dakshineswar near Calcutta. It is thought to be this location because of the characteristic nine-spired main temple built in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni, a philanthropist and a devotee of Kali, a goddess associated with eternal energy. The presiding deity of the temple is Bhavatarini, an aspect of Kali, literally meaning, 'She who takes Her devotees across the ocean of existence'.