Who Created the First Image of Bharat Mata?

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The nephew of Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore first created the image of Bharat Mata. however, it was Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay who first painted the portrait of Bharat Mata in 1870. Abanindranath was one of the most prominent artists from Bengal who designed a portrait of four armed goddesses which he called Bharat Mata. At the time of the independence, mythological allusions were used to bring more members to the nationalist movements. And this is when the deity Barat Mata became the center of attraction for people in 1905. 

Full NameAbanindranath Tagore CIE (অবনীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর)
Date of Birth7 August 1871
Date of Death5 December 1951
Honors/AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE)

Details of the Image of Bharat Mata

The portrait of Bharat Mata by Abanindranath Tagore was of a beautiful young woman who had four arms. In all of her arms, she is holding a paddy crop, a book, a piece of white cloth, and a rudraksha garland (mala). She is wearing a saffron saree and resembles a sadhvi. She wears a rudraksha mala on her neck. 

It was called ‘Banga Mata.’ However, the original portrait was shattered by Brtishers which is why people have different concepts of Bharata Mata which were made afterwards. This portrait also played a major role in the Swadesh movements in earlier times. 

The first ever picture of Mother India named ‘Hind Devi’ was known to be a creation of Maganlal Sharma in the year 1306. He tried to give the concert of Akhand Bharat through his image. However, it was  Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Abanindranath Tagore who gave it a direction as well in the nationalist movements. 

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Literary Context Behind Bharat Mata Image

The initial title, as famously known now, was not mentioned in the famous periodicals of art and culture, prabasi. It was named as “Matrimurti,” literally meaning “Motherly figure.” Moreover, Abanindranath who first created the image of Bharata Mata named it Banga Mata (Mother of Bengal.) It was sister Nivedita who depicted the painting as Bharat Mata, who later became a pan-India figure for everyone to look up to and idealize. 

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