Born in 1913 in Budapest, Amrita Sher-Gil was undoubtedly the first significant woman artist from India to attain fame internationally in the 1930s. One of India’s most significant artists, her extensive oeuvre is a unique blend of sharp commentary on the prevailing socio-cultural milieu and the philosophy of painting. Mere 29 years of life and awe-inspiring artistic achievements therein still evoke immense curiosity among art connoisseurs. Ironically, she could enjoy limited success and recognition, as an artist in her lifetime.
This painter with extraordinary got her early lessons in art in Florence, and later joined the Ecole des Beaux Arts, in Paris. Her early works reflected the academic style she was trained in. She simultaneously experimented to represent the non-western body in her paintings. Amrita Sher-Gil was an admirer of artist Paul Gauguin whose influence was palpable in some of her works. Later her practice moved towards the melancholy, even while eyes firmly fixed on the timelessness of a pretty object.
Many of her paintings in the early 1930s in the European style included several self portraits, apart from paintings of her life in Paris, still life studied, nude studies, and portraits of her friends. The self portraits captured the own persona in many moods, revealing a curious streak in her personality. The artist also yearned for her home country, and her roots. She came back home in 1934. She appropriated in particular the language of miniatures.
Her female protagonists, often portrayed in their own secluded private spaces, were mostly from humble backgrounds. The legendary artist died at the age of 29 in 1941 in Lahore.;