Jaroslav Hněvkovský, celebrated as the Slavic Gaugin, travelled to Sri Lanka in 1909 with Otakar Nejedlý. Their stay there was difficult and they found it hard to ingratiate themselves with the local patrons. They stayed for a number of months before relocating to Kerala where again they faced financial difficulties and at times lived with tribes in huts in the forests of Kerala. Hněvkovský returned to Europe in 1913 and after the war staged an exhibition in London in 1921 titled ‘Paintings from the Jungle’. During the exhibition he met Rabindranath Tagore and was invited by him to teach at Shantiniketan, a position which he accepts in 1922, spending the summer months there.