Amrita Sher-Gil self-portrait leads Sotheby's Indian Art sale
A highly rare self portrait by the celebrated Indian artist Amrita Sher-Gil will be offered at Sotheby's next month.
Painted in 1931, 'Untitled (Self-Portrait)' is one of the very few works by Sher-Gil to remain in private hands. Described as "the mother of Modern Indian art", she produced just 174 documented works during her short life, and today the majority are owned by the National Gallery of Modern Art in India.
The portrait is expected to sell for £1.5-£2 million as one of the highlights of the Sotheby's Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art in London on October 6.
Earlier this year another of her self-portraits sold at Sotheby's for $2,920,000, establishing a new auction record for any work by an Indian female aritist.
“Amrita Sher-Gil was a pioneering figure in Indian art and as a National Treasure in India, it is rare for any work by the artist to appear at auction, so to be able to offer such an exceptionally important self-portrait at our London sale in October is a true privilege," said Yamini Mehta, International Head of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art.
"Sher-Gil had a tragically brief career. The vast majority of her paintings are held in the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi and very few works ever appear on the international art market.
"This is one of her most romantic works as it was presented to her fellow artist and lover, Boris Taslitzky after it was painted in 1931 and has been in the hands of his family until now. The provenance is exceptional and it is one of less than a handful of works that are in private hands outside of India, thus making this the rarest of opportunities to acquire her work.”
Further highlights from the auction will include The Sixth Seal by Maqbool Fida Husain, estimated at £600,000-£800,000; Sayed Haider Raza's 1988 work Bhartiya Samaroh, valued at £500,000-£700,000; Jogen Chowdhury's Untitled (Couple No. 1, Man and Woman), estimated at £200,000-£300,000; and the 1966 Francis Newton Souza work Death and the Maiden, priced at £100,000-£150,000.
The auction takes place as part of Sotheby's Indian and Islamic Art Week, which includes a series of sales, events and exhibitions running from October 2-7.
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