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Amrita Sher-Gil work fetches Rs 4.75 cr at Saffronart auction

An untitled landscape painted by Amrita Sher-Gil sold for Rs 4.75 crore ($7,20,000) at Saffronart’s online auction, which fetched a total sales of Rs 20.65 crore ($3.12 million), auctioneers said on Friday.

Sher-Gil’s Untitled (Zebegeny Landscape) led the sale against a pre-sale estimate of Rs 3.9 crore to Rs 5.2 crores ($6,00,000-8,00,000).

Photo courtesy:

Photo courtesy:

Sher-Gil was the country’s foremost woman artist, whose brief career spanning just over a decade had a deep impact on Indian art. Made in 1931, the landscape was painted during a summer holiday she spent in the Hungarian village of Zebegeny on the banks of the Danube.

An Untitled work (after Titian’s Venus of Urbino and Manet’s Olympia) by F.N. Souza sold for Rs 1.22 crore ($1,86,000) compared to a pre-sale estimate of Rs 1.1 -1.3 crore ($1,70,000-200,000).

Subodh Gupta’s stainless steel installation was sold for Rs 1.10 crore ($1,68,000) against an initial estimate of Rs 99 lakhs to Rs 1.3 crores ($150,000-200,000), while S.H. Raza’s ‘Horizon’ was sold for over Rs 1 crore ($1,53,000) against an estimate of Rs 66 lakh to Rs 99 lakh ($1,00,000-1,50,000).

Nearly 24 per cent of the lots sold above their upper estimates.

Two paintings by Ghulam Rasool Santosh almost tripled their upper estimates of Rs 5.28 lakh ($8,000) and Rs 3.3 lakhs ($5,000) to fetch winning bids of Rs 14.65 lakh ($22,212) and Rs 10.89 lakh ($16,500), respectively.

K.K. Hebbar’s 1959 painting ‘Tile Factory’, almost doubled its upper estimate of Rs 23 lakh ($35,000), selling for Rs 40.78 lakh ($61,800).

Lot 57, Biren De’s 1968 oil on canvas ‘The Moment’, also tripled its upper estimate of Rs 7.92 lakh ($12,000) fetching a winning bid of Rs 24.9 lakh ($37,800).

Among the contemporary Indian artists, there was strong demand for works by Sudarshan Shetty and Chintan Upadhyay.

Shetty’s 2005 acrylic on canvas was sold for Rs 14.72 lakh ($22,309) against a pre-sale estimate of Rs 6 – Rs 8 lakh ($9,095-12,125).

“We were delighted to see very active international bidding, including bids placed via our mobile platform. There were many rare pieces with unusual history and at various attractive price points, so we are very gratified by the broad appeal it generated,” Hugo Weihe, CEO, Saffronart said.

Amrita Sher-Gil work fetches Rs 4.75 cr at Saffronart auction

Amrita Shergill Biography

The Female Pioneer Of Modern Indian Art

Amrita Shergill

BORN ON – 30 January 1913 AD
BORN IN -Budapest, Hungary
DIED ON – 05 December 1941 AD
FATHER – Umrao Singh Sher-Gil Majithia
MOTHER- Marie Antoniette Gottesmann

One of the most promising Indian artists of the pre-colonial era; youngest ever and the only Asian to be elected as Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris.

Amrita Shergill was a renowned Indian painter. She was one of the most charismatic and promising Indian artists of the pre-colonial era. Most of her paintings reflect vividly her love for the country and more importantly her response to the life of its people.

Amrita Shergill was born in Hungary in 1913. Her father was a Sikh aristocrat and her mother was Hungarian. Both her parents were artistically inclined. Her father, Umrao Singh Majitha, was a Sanskrit Scholar and her mother, Marie Antoinette, was a pianist. Amrita spent her early childhood in the village of Dunaharasti in Hungary. In 1921 her family moved to Shimla. It was at this time that Amrita Shergil developed interest in painting. An Italian Sculptor used to live in Shimla. In 1924, when the Italian Sculptor moved to Italy, Amrita Shergill’s mother too moved with there along with Amrita.

In Italy Amrita was enrolled at Santa Anunciata, a Roman Catholic institution. Amrita did not like the strict discipline of the Catholic school but on the flip side she was exposed to the works of the Italian masters and this further fanned her interest in painting. In 1927, Amrita Shergil returned to India and began taking lessons in painting under Ervin Backlay. But Ervin’s insistence that Amrita should copy real life models exactly as she saw them irked Amrita and thus her painting stint under Ervin Backlay was short lived.

In 1929, at the age of sixteen, Amrita Shergil sailed to France to study Art. She took a degree in Fine Arts from the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. She also learnt to speak and write French. It was in France that she started painting seriously. The Torso, one of her early paintings was a masterly study of a nude which stood out for its cleverness of drawing and bold modeling. In 1933, Amrita completed Young Girls. Critics and Art enthusiasts were so impressed by Young Girls that Amrita Shergill was elected as Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris. Amrita was the youngest ever and the only Asian to be honored thus.

In 1934, Amrita Shergill returned to India and evolved her own distinct style which, according to her, was fundamentally Indian in subject, spirit, and technical expression. Now the subject of his paintings were the poor, the villagers and beggars. In 1937, Amrita Shergill went on a tour of South India. This gave her the opportunity to achieve the simplicity she always wanted in her paintings. In 1938, Amrita Shergill went to Hungary and married her cousin Victor Egan much to the opposition of her parents. She married purely for security reasons as she felt that she was essentially weak and needed someone to take care of her. In 1939, Amrita Shergill returned back to India and started painting again. After her return her health deteriorated and she died on December 6, 1941.

Source – TribuneIndia , iLoveIndia