At an auction held by Mumbai-based auction house Saffronat. This painting is crafted by Hungarian-Indian painter Amrita Sher-Gil from the year 1938 sold for a stunning ₹37.8 crore.
According to reports, the auction set a new global record for the greatest sum achieved by an artist in an auction. Additionally, it’s the world’s second-most costly Indian painting.
V S Gaitonde’s Untitled, which sold for ₹39.98 crores in March this year, was the most expensive Indian painting ever sold.
In a statement, Saffronart CEO and co-founder Dinesh Vazirani said, “Amrita Sher Gil’s painting’s record-breaking sale is a clear sign of her artistic merit and a testimonial to her expertise and talent. The work highlights her growth and development as an artist and is a culmination of years of coming into her own as a renowned artist.”
The oil on canvas painting, titled ‘In the Ladies’ Enclosure,’ dates from 1938.
It was a few years after Sher-Gil returned to India. It depicts a woman of various ages engaged in various occupations in a rural setting.
Sher-Gil was inspired to paint at a young age and has been named “one of the best avant-garde woman artists of the early twentieth century.”
She was born to Hungarian-Jewish opera singer Marie Antoinette Gottesmann and Sikh scholar, photographer, and nobleman Umrao Singh Sher-Gil Majithia.
In 1929, she enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Also, travelled throughout her life to nations such as France, Turkey, and India to study various art forms.
Generations of Indian painters have been inspired by her work. Her works are designated as National Art Treasures by the Indian government. Moreover, the majority of them are on display at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.
Ganesh Pyne’s ‘The Window’ (1997) sold for ₹1.1 crores, more than double its lower estimate. Furthermore, S H Raza’s untitled watercolour on paper from the 1940s sold for ₹33.51 lakh. It is more than double its lower estimate. However, B Prabha’s Untitled (1959), sold for ₹26.46 lakh; and an untitled acrylic on paper by M F Husain sold for ₹24 lakh.