Amrita Shergill

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An Eminent Indian Artist

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Amrita Sher-Gil By – Srijit Seal

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Early Life Achievements Training Relations About Her Biography Gallery Index

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Amrita Sher-Gil Born January 30, 1913(30-01-1913) Budapest, Hungary Died December 5, 1941 (aged 28) Lahore, British India Nationality Indian Field Painter Training Grande Chaumie (1930-34) École des Beaux-Arts

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Born :- January 30, 1913(30-01-1913) Budapest, Hungary A road in Budapest The Buildings in Budapest

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Early Life In 1921 her family moved to Summer Hill, Shimla in India, and soon began learning piano and violin, and by age in nine she along with her younger sister Indira were giving concerts and acting in plays at Shimla's Gaiety Theatre at Mall Road, Shimla. Though she was already painting since the age of five she formally started learning painting at age eight. Amrita Shergil returned to India and began taking lessons in painting under Ervin Backlay. But Ervin’s insistence that Amrita should copy real life models exactly as she saw them irked Amrita and thus her painting stint under Ervin Backlay was short lived. In 1929, at the age of sixteen, Amrita Shergil sailed to France to study Art. She took a degree in Fine Arts from the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. She also learnt to speak and write French. It was in France that she started painting seriously.

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Achievements Amrita Declared As One of the most Promising Indian Artists of the Pre-Colonial Era Amrita elected as Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris

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Training Grande Chaumiere (1930-34) École des Beaux-Arts

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Relations Father- Umrao Singh Sher-gil Mother- Marie Antoinette Gottesmann Sister-Indira Sher-Gil

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Married Life & Late Life - Lahore, British India A Street in Lahore The British Bazaars of Lahore In 1939, Amrita Shergill returned back to India and started painting again. After her return her health deteriorated and she died on December 6, 1941. She married purely for security reasons as she felt that she was essentially weak and needed someone to take care of her.

About Her :

About Her Through countless centuries, the women of Punjab embroidered phulkaris with bold floral designs bathed in golden and crimson hues, painted the mud walls of their rural homes with amazing colour combinations, drew the chowkpurna designs on their thresholds for the well-being and prosperity of their family members as well as to welcome the visitors. They made clay pottery, toys and dolls. In short, they gave expression to their innate aesthetic urges and instincts in a hundred and one ways. Every woman was an artist and contributed to the centuries-old tradition of arts and crafts in her own way. With the advent of the British on the Indian scene, a number of changes took place in our social milieu and economic set-up. Our traditional way of life, socio-economic-cultural set-up and values received a rude jolt. The situation in the field of art was no less dismal. The days of traditional schools were over. The art schools set up by the British government imparted instruction that was neither related to our past nor to contemporary European art that burgeoned with the spirit of new experiments; the emphasis was solely on outdated academics. Painters not only of Punjab but all over India were wallowing in a state of utter hopelessness for lack of direction and guidance.

Amrita With Her Sister Indira:

Amrita With Her Sister Indira

Amrita In Her Studio :

Amrita In Her Studio


Biography Amrita Shergill was a renowned Indian painter. She was one of the most charismatic and promising Indian artists of the pre-colonial era. Most of her paintings reflect vividly her love for the country and more importantly her response to the life of its people. In Italy Amrita was enrolled at Santa Anunciata, a Roman Catholic institution. Amrita did not like the strict discipline of the Catholic school but on the flip side she was exposed to the works of the Italian masters and this further fanned her interest in painting. In 1927, Amrita Shergil returned to India and began taking lessons in painting under Ervin Backlay. But Ervin’s insistence that Amrita should copy real life models exactly as she saw them irked Amrita and thus her painting stint under Ervin Backlay was short lived. In 1934, Amrita Shergill returned to India and evolved her own distinct style which, according to her, was fundamentally Indian in subject, spirit, and technical expression. Now the subject of his paintings were the poor, the villagers and beggars. In 1937, Amrita Shergill went on a tour of South India. This gave her the opportunity to achieve the simplicity she always wanted in her paintings. In 1938, Amrita Shergill went to Hungary and married her cousin Victor Egan much to the opposition of her parents.

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Camels, 1935 :

Camels, 1935

Hill Women, 1935 :

Hill Women, 1935

Hungarian Market Scene, 1938:

Hungarian Market Scene, 1938

Two Elephants, Ca 1940:

Two Elephants, Ca 1940

The Room:

The Room

Village Men:

Village Men

Two Women:

Two Women

Three Girls:

Three Girls

Flower View:

Flower View

The Dressing Room:

The Dressing Room

Hungarian Peasant (1938):

Hungarian Peasant (1938)

Mother India:

Mother India

Self Portrait:

Self Portrait

Resting (1939):

Resting (1939)

Self Portrait:

Self Portrait

Self Portrait:

Self Portrait

Indira’s Portrait:

Indira’s Portrait

Storyteller (1937):

Storyteller (1937)

Sleeping Man :

Sleeping Man

The Bride (1940):

The Bride (1940)

Village Scene:

Village Scene

Vina Players:

Vina Players

Villa-Group (1938):

Villa-Group (1938)

Banana Sellers:

Banana Sellers

Inside a Mud Hut:

Inside a Mud Hut

Inside a Mud Hut sold for Rs.6,90,00,000/-:

Inside a Mud Hut sold for Rs.6,90,00,000/-

Resting In The Afternoon:

Resting In The Afternoon

Life In Letters:

Life In Letters

Women At Haldi Grinding:

Women At Haldi Grinding

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By – Srijit Seal The End

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