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Close To Home: Celebration of Familial Bonds in Indian Art
By Anandita Bhardwaj
16 May 2022
The act of capturing moments with family and friends has been a part of human culture for centuries. And while photography has come to be the most common medium to make such memories, visual artists have also reached for their canvases to paint portraits of those closest to them. As the world celebrates International Day of Families today, let us celebrate the bond of familial love with Indian artists who have turned their gaze on their nearest and dearest ones and created works that are forever cherished.
Portrait of Husband Victor Egan by Amrita Sher-Gil
This work by one of the greatest Indian modernists, Amrita Sher-Gil, is an extraordinary portrait of her husband Victor Egan. This was created by Amrita Sher-Gil as a parting gift for Victor Egan’s family. After they got married, the couple lived in Hungary. However, due to the looming war situation at the time, they decided to shift to India in the year 1939 to Amrita Sher-Gil’s parental home in Uttar Pradesh, thereafter moving to Lahore in 1941. Victor Egan was a Hungarian army doctor and therefore, while executing this work, Amrita Sher-Gil depicted him clad in his army uniform. Their relationship was unconventional. Nonetheless, they shared a spiritual bond; that of a woman and a man, which inspired her to capture his presence in glory. The work without a doubt showcases her proficiency as a portraiture artist, and elucidates Amrita Sher-Gil’s academic training. This work was auctioned in AstaGuru's Modern Indian Art auction in December, 2020.
Shashi by K. K. Hebbar
This painting is a portrait of K.K. Hebbar’s daughter-in-law Shashi, depicting her gracefully poised in front of a dressing table. The protagonist’s gaze and facial features were captured impeccably. As a matter of fact, this characteristic of perfection holds true for portraits executed by the artist. However, the familiarity enabled Mr. Hebbar to accentuate the reality of the image depicted. The series of portraits made by the artist chronicled the lives of the people that influenced him, including his immediate family members, friends, fellow artists, and contemporaries. He portrayed them with compassion in an elegant and dignified manner, which is a revered legacy of Mr. Hebbar’s persona as an artist. This work was a part of AstaGuru’s ‘Masters Legacy’ Modern Indian Art auction held in April, 2022.
Family By M. F. Husain:
Titled ‘Family’ the presented lot is a large scale work by M. F. Husain executed with acrylic. The artist's attention to detail is evident with deft can be seen with the elaborateness of the anatomy, clothing, and lush surroundings. Interestingly, M.F. Husain has painted himself in the corner. He has portrayed himself in the act of creating this very painting. This work was featured in a 2011 exhibition titled ‘Remembering The Master: Works by M.F. Husain.’ This work was auctioned during AstaGuru's Collectors Choice Modern Indian Art auction in November, 2021.
The theme of bond between mother and child has been a recurring theme in India art and the affectionate bond has been a part of the oeuvre of several Indian artists.
This work by revered artist Jamini Roy depicts an affectionate moment between a mother and a child. The combination of the flat technique and the mother and child in the artwork makes it an outstanding Jamini Roy work. This work was executed with tempera on cloth in the year 1930. It was a part of AstaGuru's Modern & Contemporary Indian Art auction held in August, 2017.
This rendition of mother and child was created by one of the most respected modernist sculpture artists of India, Prodosh Dasgupta. The sculpture was executed with bronze in 1976. This work was auctioned during AstaGuru’s Modern Indian Art (No Reserve Auction) in December, 2017.
Artist Anjolie Ela Menon has created several works exploring biblical themes in her career. This work depicting Mother Mary and baby Jesus is also titled ‘Mother and Child.’ It was executed with oil on a masonite board. It was sold during AstaGuru’s Modern Indian Art auction in March, 2015.
AstaGuru family wishes your family joy and harmony on this special day.
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