Gaganendranath Tagore was the eldest brother of Abanindranath Tagore and nephew of Rabindranath Tagore. Although he was closely associated with the aesthetic values of the Bengal School he functioned largely outside its stylistic influence. His exposure to art practices all around the world helped him to create a distinctly original style of painting. On one hand he was inspired by the Japanese wash technique and on the other by the cubistic, futuristic and expressionist trends of European art practices. In spite of the eclecticism of his outlook, his vision and technique were very individual.
Gaganendranath’s great sense of humour and satire found expression in some remarkable caricatures, which primarily aimed at commenting on the erosion of social and moral values under the impact of colonial rule. His satires also pinpointed the hypocrisies and contradictions within society. He was responsible for establishing ‘Jorasanko (the Tagore residence) Theatre’ in 1867 and was actively involved with designing stage settings and costumes for various plays. Some of his art works display a remarkable influence of theatre.