Amrita Sher-Gil’s Oil Painting© SaffronArt

Amrita Sher-Gil’s Art Fetches Record-Breaking Sum At Auction

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Artist Amrita Sher-Gil’s oil painting, titled ‘The Story Teller’ was recently auctioned off at a record-breaking price of $7.4 Million (INR 62 Crores approx), making it the most expensive Indian painting ever.

The 1937 artwork by the Indo-Hungarian artist was up for auction by SaffronArt at The Oberoi, New Delhi. The whole auction generated a whopping INR 181 Crore, with Sher-Gil’s painting fetching the highest price. It topped the previously held record by artist Syed Haider Raza whose painting ‘Gestation’ was recently auctioned off for INR 51.7 Crore at Pundole Auction House.

Following Sher-Gil’s characteristic exploration of women immersed in their own world, ‘The Story Teller’ portrays a group of women relaxing in an open space while taking care of their individual tasks.

Amrita Sher-Gil’s Oil Painting©SaffronArt

“Emphasising her unique vision, Sher-Gil prioritised the human figure above all else, and she established a distinctive figurative style with little regard for landscape. Her enquiries were motivated by questions of identity, arising from her Indo-European parenting, that led to a remarkable painterly language which was a culmination of inspirations from traditional Indian and modern European art,” reads a statement on the auction house’s website.

Over the past few years, many artworks by Indian artists have fetched staggering amounts at auctions, like the VS Gaitonde painting that sold for INR 32 Crores in 2020 and M.F. Husain’s ‘Voices’ which went for INR 18.47 Crores the same year.