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Amrita Sher-Gil’s rare portrait of husband fetches over Rs 10 crore at AstaGuru sale
By By Press Trust of India | Posted by Jahnavi Gupta | New Delhi
Feb 22, 2021
Modern Indian painter Amrita Sher-Gil’s rare portrait of her husband Victor Egan fetched a whopping price of Rs 10.86 crore at AstaGuru’s recent ‘Modern Indian Art’ online sale, the auction house said in a statement.
Having witnessed “impressive bidding”, the artwork was eventually purchased by renowned art collector Manoj Israni. It was the highest price achieved in the sale.
According to AstaGuru, the portrait showcasing Egan, a Hungarian army doctor in his uniform, garnered noticeable traction since the theme intertwined with the artist’s personal life and had emotional sentiments attached to it.
“They shared a spiritual bond, which inspired her to capture his presence in glory,” the auction house said.
The painting was created as a parting gift to her husband’s family, after the couple decided to shift base from Hungary to India in 1939, and then to Lahore in 1941.
“The rare artwork without a doubt showcases her proficiency as a portraiture artist, and elucidates Amrita Sher-Gil’s academic training,” AstaGuru noted. The auction that achieved a total sales value of Rs 59.86 crore (approx.), also featured an untitled work by Ram Kumar that secured the second highest hammer price of Rs 4.34 crore (approx).
Comprising four canvases, the magnificent artwork expands up to a total of 23.5 feet.
“The results validate modern Indian art’s strong, as well as stable demand and also establishes its huge potential since the lots presented achieved significant prices and witnessed competitive bidding,” said Siddanth Shetty, V P Business Strategy & Operations, AstaGuru. S H Raza’s “Sanshari”, an acrylic on canvas work created in 1994 was the third most valuable sale at Rs 4.19 crore (approx).
The auction also featured works by artists like Jehangir Sabavala, Prabhakar Barwe, F N Souza, and Tyeb Mehta.