Amrita Sher - Gil: An Indian Artist Family of the Twentieth Century

Amrita Sher - Gil: An Indian Artist Family of the Twentieth Century

Product ID: 25232

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Author: Amrita Sher-Gil
Foreword/Introduction: Deepak Ananth
Publisher: National Gallery of Modern Art
Year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 160
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9783829602709


Amrita Sher-Gil proved to be a prodigious artist in her short but experiential life. The extraordinary extent and variety of her subjects demonstrate the versatility and range of her interests, and reveal her sensitivity to the aesthetic, social, psychological and emotional aspects of existence. In many ways, her images encapsulate the characteristics of our times, notably in her constant experimentation to discover the relevance of modernism through her engagement with Indian reality.

Amrita’s life was filled with several provocative contradictions that are reflected in the thematic and pictorial content of her work. Her self-consciousness and awareness are best evidenced in the innumerable letters she wrote, which are thought-provoking and contemplative. Her paintings exhibit the east-west dilemma in pictorial terms, and demonstrate how her creative genius grasped the Indian pictorial tradition and environment to create a very personalized ethos. They show how diverse cultural identities allow the possibility of intermingling, perhaps because of the potential and inherent quality of change they have to offer.

Amrita’s was an inquisitive mind – intensely passionate, introspective and always self-evaluating in a constant search to transcend the human condition through her creations. She consciously tried to assimilate her understanding of the west and interweave it with strains of her indigenous inheritance, in an artistic process of absorbing the collective consciousness of the people around her people whom she chose to react to, and also paint.


“Daughter of an Indian father and a European mother, irrepressibly sensual yet often oddly detached, her artistic life devided between Paris and Punjab, the contradictory forces in Amrita Sher-Gil’s nature and background came triumphantly together in her art, if not in her life. An iconoclast to the very and of her, alas, too short life, Amrita flouted the reigning orthodoxy of Indian art with as much abandon as she did the traditional morality governing female sexuality. A glowing figure at the origins of Indian modernism as well as being an icon of contemporary Indian feminism, it is time that Amrita’s legend does not continue to obscure her achievement and that her genius is recognized and celebrated beyond the country’s borders.”




An Unfinished Project

Umrao Singh Sher-Gil
Amrita Sher-Gil
Vivan Sundaram

List of Plates
List of Plates

1. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Sunder Singh, Umrao Singh and Retinue, 1890
2. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Study in a Vase, 9 February 1892
3. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Chess-players, 1910
4. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, View through the Living Room, 1916
5. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Marie Antoinette Reclining, 1912
6. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Draped Rooms, 1916
7. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Marie Antoinette Reading, 1912
8. Vivan Sundaram, Box Two: Mother, 1995
9. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Marie Antoinette Looking into Mirror, 1912
10. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, The Birth of Indira, 1914
11. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, In the Kitchen, c. 1917
12. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Amrita and Indira, 1924
13. Vivan Sundaram, Preening, 2001
14. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Self-Portrait with Flowing Beard, early 1930s
15. Amrita Sher-Gil, Portrait of Young Man, 1930
16. Vivan Sundaram, Lovers, 2001
17. Vivan Sundaram, Paris Café, 2001
18. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Amrita with Her Paintings, 1930
19. Amrita Sher-Gil, Self-Portrait, 1930
20. Vivan Sundaram, Dancing in the Life-class, 2001
21. Amrita Sher-Gil. Self-Portrait at Easel, c.1930
22. Amrita Sher-Gil, Young Man with Apples, 1932
23. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Amrita with Models for ‘Young Girls’, 1932
24. Amrita Sher-Gil, Young Girls, 1932
25. Vivan Sundaram, Art School Comrades, 2001
26. Letter (excerpt) to mother, February 1934, Budapest
27. Amrita Sher-Gil, Marie Louise Chassany, 1932
28. Amrita Sher-Gil, Sleep, 1932
29. Amrita Sher-Gil, Reclining Nude, 1933
30. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Amrita Seated -1, early 1930s
31. Amrita Sher-Gil, Study of Model – 3, 1933
32. Amrita Sher-Gil, Professional Model, 1933
33. Vivan Sundaram, Amrita with Cousin Viola, 2001
34. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Amrita Seated – 2,early 1930s
35. Amrita Sher-Gil, Study of Model – 2, 1934
36. Vivan Sundaram, Self as Tahitian, 2001
37. Amrita Sher-Gil, Self-Portrait as Tahitian,1934
38. Vivan Sundaram, Doppelganger , 2001
39. Amrita Sher-Gil’s letter (excerpt) to mother and father, September 1934, Budapest.
40. Vivan Sundaram, Bourgeois Family: Mirror Frieze, 2001
41. Vivan Sundaram, Box Five: Family Album, 1995
42. Vivan Sundaram, Sher-Gil Family, 1983-84
43. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Self-Portrait with Book, c 1922
44. Amrita Sher-Gil, Portrait of Father, 1935
45. Vivan Sundaram, Father, 2001
46. Amrita Sher-Gil, Hill Men. 1935
47. Amrita Sher-Gil, Hill Women, 1935
48. Amrita Sher-Gil, Nude Group, c. 1935
49. Amrita Sher-Gil, Group of three Girls, 1935
50. Vivan Sundaram, Artist with ‘Fruit Vendors’, 2001
51. Vivan Sundaeam, Amrita Dreaming – 1, 2002
52. Vivan Sundaram, Style, 2001
53. Vivan Sundaram, Sisters Apart, 2001
54. Amrita Sher-Gil, Two Women, c.1936
55. Amrita Sher-Gil, Fruit Vendors, 1937
56. Amrita Sher-Gil, Bride’s Toilet, 1937
57. Amrita Sher-Gil’s letter (excerpt) to Indira, 5 January 1937, Trivandrum.
58. Amrita Sher-Gil, South India Villagers Going to Market, 1937
59. Amrita Sher-Gil, Brahmacharis, 1937
60. Amrita Sher-Gil, Story Teller, 1937
61. Amrita Sher-Gil, Red Verandah, 1938
62. Amrita Sher-Gil, Siesta, 1937
63. Amrita Sher-Gil, Red Clay Elephant, 1938
64. Vivan Sundaram, Swimming with Elephants, 2001
65. Amrita Sher-Gil, Hill Scene, 1938
66. Letter (excerpt) to Karl Khandalavala, 13 April 1938, Simla
67. Vivan Sundaram, On the Beach, 2002
68. Vivan Sundaram, Snow, 2002
69. Amrita Sher-Gil, In the Garden, c. 1939
70. Vivan Sundaram, Distance, 2002
71. Amrita Sher-Gil,, Hungarian Village Market, c. 1939
72. Amrita Sher-Gil, Potato Peeler, 1938
73. Vivan Sundaram, Dressed-up, 2002
74. Vivan Sundaram, edge, 2002
75. Amrita Sher-Gil’s letter (excerpt) to Indira, 6 December 1940, Saraya.
76. Amrita Sher-Gil, Two Girls, c.1939
77. Vivan Sundaram, Arrival at Naples, 2002
78. Vivan Sundaram, Amrita Dreaming -2, 2002
79. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Self-Portrait in Study, early 1930s
80. Amrita Sher-Gil, Resting, 1939
81. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Self-Portrait after Fasting, 1930
82. Amrita Sher-Gil,, Musicians, c. 1940
83. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Umrao Singh with His Typewritter, c. 1940
84. Amrita Sher-Gil, The Ancient Story Teller, 1940
85. Amrita Sher-Gil, Elephant Promenenade, 1940
86. Amrita Sher-Gil, Elephants, c. 1940
87. Amrita Sher-Gil, Haldi Grinders, c. 1940
88. Amrita Sher-Gil, Camels, c. 1941
89. Vivan Sundaram, Observatory, 2002
90. Amrita Sher-Gil, Two Elephants, c. 1940
91. Amrita Sher-Gil’s diary (excerpt), 1925, Simla.
92. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Amrita, 1924
93. Amrita Sher-Gil, The Child Bride, 1922
94. Amrita Sher-Gil, The Bride, c. 1940
95. Amrita Sher-Gil,, The Swing, 1940
96. Vivan Sundaram, Amrita Dreaming – 3: ‘Apsara’, 2002
97. Amrita Sher-Gil, Woman at Bath, 1940
98. Amrita Sher-Gil’s letter (excerpt) to Karl Khandalavala, 1940
99. Amrita Sher-Gil, Women on Charpoy, 1940
100. Amrita Sher-Gil, The Last unfinished Painting, 1941
101. Vivan Sundaram, Father-Daughter, 2001
102. Vivan Sundaram, cross-lit, 2001
103. Vivan Sundaram, Night Sky, 2001
104. Amrita Sher-Gil’s letter (excerpt) to Indira, 6 December 1940, Saraya
105. Vivan Sundaram, Studio: 30’s Deco, 2001