Saturday 30 January 2016

Amrita Sher-Gil- Pride of Indian Art. Born: January 30, 1913 Today is a day of celebration in Art world- birthday

Today is a day of celebration in Art world- birthday of most prominent first Indian woman painter Amrita Sher-Gil. Amrita proved herself when it was not very easy for an Indian woman to project her talents and skills worldwide. Though she had the advantage of her aristocrat heredity and a Hungarian mother. Earlier stages of her short-lived life was spent in Budapest, Hungary. 

Born: January 30, 1913, Budapest, Hungary( image wikipedia)

She did her art schooling in Paris, none of her earlier paintings were close to Indian context, in fact she was influenced by European painters Gaugin such as Paul Cezanne and Paul along with the influence of her teacher Lucien Simon and some of her artists friends and lovers. While in Paris here paintings were westernised and quiet similar to Bohemian style that was a trend in 1930s.  

Group of Three Girls, Oil on canvas, January 1935 ( image NGMA Mumbai)

But her sixth sense always pulled her towards India. She and her husband stayed in Saraya, Gorakhpur. Her touring in India took her to remote places and village life, women plight grabbed her attention. This was the ultimate destination and fervour of Amrita Sher-Gil. Her paintings had a powerful impact like the maestros of Bengal school of art. Her paintings portray plight of Indian women, villages he the raw and remote beauty of India. Her paintings were similar to Bengal School of art maestros such as Rabindranath Tagore and Abanindranath Tagore. Indian tradition was root of her creation and remained lifelong. 

South Indian Villagers Going to Market, 1937.
( image wikipedia)

Amrita Sher-Gil lived in pre-colonial era. Her family was much influenced by British Raj. But she was the supporter of Congress and Gandhiji’s philosophy. The grandeur of her paintings lie in the poverty, downtrodden people and village life that she excellently portrays with her perfect sense of colour. It seems as if she lived their life. The paintings are empathetic. Her feelings for poor rural India. The paintings impressed Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru when he visited her at Saraya, and he proposed to consider them for the Congress propaganda for village reconstruction. 

Portrait of leading leaders
( image google)

During the Independence period many artists used their art for political propaganda. Many were successful and became famous by drawing portrait of leading leaders. Art was instrumental in Indian Independence. But here it is important to note that Amrita Sher-Gil was most influential woman artists equal to men of the time. Earlier she also had the honour of becoming the youngest and only Asian artist to be elected as an Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris. If we calculate her treasure of paintings in commercial terms, then she is one of the most expensive painters of the world. Her life full of affairs and friendship with men and women makes her life look like a story of novel. Other than becoming inspiration for contemporary artists her life and works also influences works of literature like Urdu play ‘Tumhari Amrita’ by Javed Siddiqi, novel ‘Faking It’ by Amrita Chowdhury and so on.

Truly genius!              by Pankaja JK Art Blogazine

(2016 - No copyright claim of any image by Writer or
(2016 - No copyright claim of any image by Writer or

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