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Amrita Sher-Gil's Painting Sets Record of India's Most Expensive, Sold for $7.44Mln

© Photo : Video Screenshot: X (Twitter)/@SaffronartAmrita Sher-Gil's Painting Sets Record of India's Most Expensive, Sold for $7.44 Million
Amrita Sher-Gil's Painting Sets Record of India's Most Expensive, Sold for $7.44 Million - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.09.2023
Amrita Sher-Gil, who lived from 1913 to 1941, was born in Budapest, Hungary to an Indian Sikh aristocrat father and Hungarian-Jewish opera singer mother. She was eight when she moved to Shimla in India's Himachal Pradesh state.
Hungarian-Indian painter Amrita Sher-Gil's masterpiece, 'The Story Teller', stunned the art world on Saturday by fetching an astonishing INR 618Mln ($7.44Mln), making a world record for the highest price paid for an artwork by an Indian artist.
Before Sher-Gil, the most expensive Indian artwork sold at auction was Sayed Haldar Raza’s 'Gestation', which fetched INR 517.5Mln.
Saffronart, a leading Indian auction house specialising in art, jewellery and property, held its flagship Evening Sale in New Delhi which showcased 78 exceptional works by some of India’s best-known artists, including modern masters Vasudeo S Gaitonde, Raza, and early works by Tyeb Mehta, Maqbool Fida Husain, Francis Newton Souza, and Akbar Padamsee.
According to art aficionado Karl Khandalavala, Sher-Gil's 'The Story Teller' "sought inspiration in Pahari paintings”.

“The cows, the womenfolk, and the setting, though all far removed in technique from those of a Basohli miniature, are pregnant with the style's lyricism and vivid colour,” Khandalavala stated.

A note released by Saffronart before the auction described Sher-Gil's artwork as being executed during a crucial phase in the artist's career when her European and Indian influences harmoniously converged, resulting in a distinctive artistic expression.
In the early Thirties, when she was studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Sher-Gil was greatly influenced by post-impressionism and bohemian culture.
Not only did her body of work include numerous self-portraits and nude studies, but it also showcased a remarkable blend of traditional influences sourced from miniatures, Ajanta paintings, and her extensive travel throughout India.

In a letter to a friend, she reportedly wrote, “I can only paint in India. Europe belongs to Picasso, Matisse, Braque… India belongs only to me”.

Sher-Gil, who was touted to be one of the country’s foremost artists, died young at the age of 28 in 1941.
After her death, the Indian government gave her work “national treasure” status which prohibits it from being exported.