Indian-Hungarian artist Amrita Sher Gil’s artwork titled ‘In the Ladies’ Enclosure’ became the second most expensive Indian artwork to be sold globally, after fetching Rs37.8 crores at Mumbai-based auction house Saffronart’s Summer Live Auction last week.
The work was painted at the artist’s family estate in Gorakhpur in 1938. It showcases a group of women engaged in myriad activities in a field.
It is also the second-most expensive work of Indian art sold globally after V S Gaitonde’s Untitled, 1961, which sold for Rs39.98 crore in March this year, said the auction house in a statement.
“The record-breaking sale of Amrita Sher-Gil’s seminal painting from 1938 titled ‘In the Ladies Enclosure’ is a clear indication of her artistic merit and is a testament to her skill and talent,” said Saffronart’s CEO and Co-Founder Dinesh Vazirani in a press statement. “The work highlights She-Gil’s growth and development as an artist and is a culmination of years of coming into her own as an artist of repute. It is, additionally, a rare work of the artist from that particular period to emerge in the art market and we are honoured to have played a part in creating a new benchmark with this auction,” added Vazirani.
Amrita Sher-Gil was born in 1913 to Marie Antoinette Gottesmann, Hungarian-Jewish opera singer, and Umrao Singh Sher-Gil Majithia, a Sikh scholar, photographer, and aristocrat. She went on to study art at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in1929, and when she returned to India in 1934, her art and style had completely changed.
She would use her surroundings as inspiration and earthy tones would dominate her palette. The National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi also houses a large collection of her works of art.
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