Untitled, landscape, painting by Rabindranath Tagore

The fertile river landscape of Bengal was a frequent source of inspiration to Tagore. Landscape imagery often appears in his poetry and - as here - in his painting. This scene was painted in 1936 using ink and wash. It may show the area around Shantiniketan, the school Tagore founded in Bengal in 1901.

'My feelings seem to be those of our ancient earth in the daily ecstasy of its sun-kissed life; my own consciousness seems to stream through each blade of grass, each sucking root, to rise with the sap through the trees, to break out with joyous thrills in the waving fields of corn, in the rustling palm leaves.'
(Letter written at Shelidah, 20 August 1892)

In spite of Tagore's strong opposition, Bengal was divided following India's independence from the British Empire, after his death. Part of it became East Pakistan (later becoming Bangladesh following the War of Independence in 1971) and part came under the rule of India as West Bengal.