Mukhush (Mask), ink on paper, titled, dated 1900 and inscribed illegibly in Bengali lower left, framed, 23.4 x 17.7cm (9 3/16 x 6 15/16in).
Provenance: Private Collection, USA; acquired from Sotheby's Indian Miniatures The Travel Sale - India & Far East Modern & Contemporary South Asian Paintings, 8th June 2000, lot 112. Previously acquired by Sir M.N. RayChowhdury of Santosh and thence by descent.
Tagore's skill as a painter came to light through the rhythmic, spontaneous gestures which the artist made while making corrections to his manuscripts. Rather than disturbing his creative process, these perceived errors were to reveal a world of imagery as he allowed his pen to wander on the page until an imagined creature emerged. Although the first of these doodles were formed on the pages of Tagore's manuscripts, the artist began to create pictures independent of his writing. While maintaining a similar subconscious style of working, these later drawings were nevertheless executed in a slightly more deliberate manner. Connections can be seen between Tagore's doodles and 'primitive artwork' that he was likely looking at during this period.