Indian artist Amrita Sher-Gil's oil on canvas "In the Ladies' Enclosure" has become the second most expensive Indian work of art sold globally. The 1938 painting fetched Rs 37.8 crores at Saffronart's recent Summer Live Auction. Presently, the 1961 untitled work by VS Gaitonde is the most expensive Indian art sold globally. It sold for Rs 39.98 crores at a Saffronart sale earlier this year.
Sher-Gil's work, done a few years after her return to India, portrays a group of women engaged in different activities in a field. Painted at her family estate in Gorakhpur, it is also a rare piece by the artist from that particular time period to have emerged into the market.
"The record-breaking sale of Amrita Sher-Gil's seminal painting is a clear indication of her artistic merit and is a testament to her skill and talent. 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," said Saffronart CEO and co-founder Dinesh Vazirani.
The sale achieved a total value of Rs 54.25 crores with NS Bendre's untitled painting from 1985 selling for 1.67 crores and FN Souza's untitled work from 1956 being sold for Rs 5.04 crores. The sale also featured Ganesh Pyne's 'The Window'' (1997), S H Raza''s untitled watercolour on paper from the 1940s, B Prabha''s Untitled (1959), and an untitled acrylic on paper by M F Husain.