Amrita Sher Gil

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Amrita Sher-Gil's paintings, artist Amrita Sher Gil - Brilliant Artist

Amrita was one of the eminent painters of India. She was the daughter of a Sikh aristocrat and a Sanskrit scholar, Umrao Singh Sher-Gil Majithia and a Hungarian mother; Marie Antoinette Gottesmann who was a singer. She sailed with her mother to France and studied art in Paris. She was only sixteen year old that time. She learnt art first at the Grande Chaumiere and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. At the end of 1934, Sher-Gil returned to India. At twenty two years of age, she was already an adept painter, trained with some of the most necessary skills that make for a great artist. She had an unquenchable curiosity, a persistent hard work and single-mindedness about her career in art. Since she learned art from Paris, her early works in 1930ís display a prominent influence of western style of painting. In 1934, Sher-Gil returned to India and began a rediscovery of the Indian traditions and cultural art which she continued till her death. She was greatly impressed and inspired by the works of Mughal miniatures and the Ajanta paintings. Amrita traveled to South India and painted the famous South Indian trilogies that show her fervent sense of color and sympathy for Indian subjects most often portrayed in their poverty and despair. In 1938, Sher-Gil married to her Hungarian cousin Dr. Victor Egan. She then stayed at her paternal family's home in Saraya, Uttar Pradesh.

Amrita's work at art schools in Europe was largely academic; however she started experimenting only after her return to India. She never considered herself as a foreigner getting attracted to the rich and varied India, she always considered herself as a true Indian at heart. She had deep respect for Indiaís contemporary artists. After coming to India, she decided to depict the life of poor Indians pictorially. She decided that these works will be fundamentally Indian in the right mood.

All her paintings depict thin, gaunt starving men and women. At her summer hill residence in Simla, she came in touch with the Pahari villagers and portrayed them in her paintings. She also painted fruit vendors, hill men and women, saints etc. All the figures that Shergil drew, especially women, had jaded eyes with an ex-pression of acceptance and gloom on their faces. She was more interested in painting women and their activities. Since she was unaware about the social and family environment of women, she was more than fascinated to know about them and portray them in her paintings. The confined lives of Indian women and their sorrow are seen in Amritaís paintings.
The fable of Amrita Sher-Gil has been alive for three decades and itís her art that has kept her awake in the minds of art lovers. Her paintings carry that aureole which the on-lookers admire. The contemporary artists have rejected Shergilís work as schmaltzy or absurd. Sher-Gil died in 1941 however the real reason for death has still been uncertain.



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