Arts 

Amrita Sher-Gill: The Greatest Female Indian Artist of All Times

There is no denial to the fact that whenever there is a discussion of the greatest Indian artists, then it is difficult to miss out on the name of Amrita Sher-Gill. A renowned Hungarian-Indian painter, Amrita is considered as a forerunner in the domain of modern Indian art. She expressed her love for the subject since a very young age and she started taking proper lessons in art since she was eight years old. However, she got her much-deserved recognition at the tender age of nineteen for her famous oil painting entitled ‘Young Girls’.

An avid traveler, Sher-Gill travelled throughout her entire life. As a result of this she toured to various countries including France, Turkey and India and these are the places which highly impacted her art style as she ended up deriving a lot from the prevailing artistic cultures and vogues of these places. Undoubtedly, she is one of the most important female painters in the history of Indian art and made significant contributions to the art of 20th Century.

History and Early Life:

Born of 30th January 1913 in the city of Budapest, Amrita’s father was a Sikh aristocrat who was an academic in the subject of Sanskrit. Her mother was a Hungarian singer and she had one sister. The Indian artist spent her early life in a village of Hungary and in the year 1921, her family shifted to Shimla which is considered as a stunning hill station of India. Shimla was the place which marked the beginning of Amrita’s love for art and over here she began receiving formal education on the subject of art from an Italian sculptor. The painter moved to Italy in the year 1924 and Amrita, along with her mother, followed him. Soon enough, she joined a Roman Catholic institution called Santa Anunciata. This was the place where she witnessed the miraculous works of Italian artists and got inspired from the same. This was a building block as it deepened her interest in the subject of painting. After receiving various trainings, she returned back to India in the year 1934 and embarked on the journey of success and fame.

When she came back to India, Amrita Sher-Gill was deeply influenced by the beauty of Mughal miniature paintings. Along with this, the paintings at Ajanta also caught her fancy. Intrigued by this, she decided to explore the artistic gems of the southern part of the Indian subcontinent and this was where the idea of her famous South Indian trilogy paintings took place.

In the year 1938, Amrita married her Hungarian first cousin, Dr. Victor Egan. Afterwards, she moved to the city of Gorakhpur, where her paternal family resided, with her beloved husband. Later on, the couple decided to move to Lahore which was a part of the undivided India. Sadly, in the year 1941, Amrita Sher-Gill bid adieu to this world.

Amrita Sher-Gill’s Work and Achievements:

Her name is an indispensable part of the greatest Indian artists of all times. Undoubtedly, she was one of the most talented and extraordinary painters of her era. Amrita Sher-Gill was the first, youngest and only Asian artist who got elected as an associate in the prestigious Grand Salon in Paris. Her works show a considerable amount of influence from the west and her deep passion, along with a great sense of understanding towards colors, shows why the artist is considered remarkable even in today’s times. The masterworks of this artist have been declared as National Art Treasures by the Government of India and a majority of her creations adorn the beauty of the famous National Gallery of Modern Art in the capital of India. In addition to this, to pay respect to the great artist, there is a road by the name of Amrita Sher-Gill Marg in Delhi.

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