Amrita Sher-Gil’s painting “In the Ladies Enclosure”- set a world record for the highest value achieved by the artist after it was auctioned for Rs. 37.8 crore ($5.14 million) by the Mumbai-based auction house Saffronart on July 13, 2021.
The painting was made in 1938 at Sher-Gil’s family estate in Gorakhpur. It shows a group of women engaged in various activities in a field.
Amrita Sher-Gil (January 30, 1913 – December 5, 1941) has been a pioneer in Indian Modern art. Sher-Gil, a Hungarian Indian painter, is known by the world as one of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th century.
After V S Gaitonde’s “Untitled, 1961”, Amrita Sher-Gil’s painting also set the record for being the second-most expensive work of Indian art sold globally. Gaitonde’s painting sold for Rs. 39.98 crores in March this year, the auction house said in a statement.
“It is the second-most expensive work sold by Bendre in auction. The highest work sold by the artist was for ₹ 1.98 crores at Saffronart’s Spring Live Auction earlier in March 2021,” the auction house said in a statement.
A huge collection of Amrita’s art can be found in the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.
“The record-breaking sale of Amrita Sher-Gil’s seminal painting from 1938 titled ‘In the Ladies Enclosure’ is a clear indication of her artistic merit and is a testament to her skill and talent,” Dinesh Vazirani, Saffronart CEO and co-founder, was quoted as saying.
“The work highlights her growth and development as an artist and is a culmination of years of coming into her own as an artist of repute. It is, additionally, a rare work of the artist from that particular period to emerge in the art market, and we are honoured to have played a part in creating a new benchmark with this auction,” Vazirani said in a statement.
Also featured at the sale was Ganesh Pyne’s “The Window” (1997), which sold for more than twice its lower estimate at ₹ 1.1 crore.