A painting by Amrita Sher-Gil, titled “The Story Teller” and dated 1937, achieved an astounding sale of ₹61.8 crore, making it the most expensive Indian artwork ever auctioned. This particular painting from 1937 was part of a collection of around 70 works by prominent artists like MF Husain, VS Gaitonde, Jamini Roy, and FS Souza that were presented at Saffronart‘s ‘Evening Sale: Modern Art’.
Amrita Sher-Gil’s ‘The Story Teller’ (Source: saffronart.com)
The auction, organized by Saffronart, generated a total of over ₹181 crore in sales. Amrita Sher-Gil, being the only successful woman artist in India, rightfully claimed the top spot, adding a long-awaited accolade to her illustrious career.
The painting “The Story Teller” beautifully fuses influences from both Pahari and Parisian art, depicting a group of women immersed in various independent activities in an open space.
Minal Vazirani, the auction house’s co-founder, said, as reported by Livemint, “The sale of this particular work is an important milestone in the market. However, equally important, is the work itself— it is an exceptional painting as a cornerstone in Sher-Gil’s work as such. She is one of India’s national art treasures, and this type of work is quite rare to come across for sale.”
Born on January 30, 1913, in Budapest, Hungary, to an Indian father and a Hungarian mother, Amrita Sher-Gil remains celebrated as one of the best avant-garde woman painters for her exceptional contributions to the world of art.
Her notable works include other female portraits such as “Three Girls,” “Women on the Charpai,” “Hill Women,” and “Young Girls.”